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Pooja Kriplani, pursuing BBA LL.B. (Hons.) from Amity University, Rajasthan.

Date: 02.12.2020



In the case, the Sabrimala judgment case is a controversy between fundamental rights and religious that tattoos of women in Indian society. Always considered that then of man due to domination of patriarchal philosophy and women had to fight and struggle to action their position equally as a man at various public platforms. In the case, Sabrimala is also an example of women fighting against the Patriarchal philosophy of religious order prohibiting their entry to the temple. The constitution of India guarantees the right of freedom of religion for every individual and group under article 25 of article 26[1]. Where every person is free to practice propagate and process and religion of and his choice no ever article 15 of the constitution prohibits the state from discrimination against any Citizen on the ground of religion, race, caste, and sex.

In this case, the petition was filed by the association lawyer under article 32 of the Constitution against the Government of Kerala, In this case, chief Thanthri of Sabrimala temple and District Magistrate of pathname temple to allow the entry of women between the age of 10 years to 50 years in the Sabrimala Temple. In Kerala, these women were denied entry into the temple, and the rules 3(b) of the Kerala Hindu place of public worship authorization of entry rules 1965 Rules in providing with the power confirmed by section 4 of the Kerala Hindu place of public worship Association of entry Act 1965.

Respondent argument

The respondents, on the other hand, defended that the constitution also grants to every religious denomination the right to determine its own rules and stated the primary reason for not allowing the entry of women to the temple as the naisthika brahmacharya nature of the deity Lord Ayyapan[2]. It was claimed that the presence of women questioned the purity and sanctity of the deity and also it distracts the devotees. The Court dismissed the reason on the ground of equality and perpetuation of stereotypes in society. It was of the view that both men and women are equal and no one should be discriminated against or restricted in any form. The ideology is considered of purity and pollution of the temple authorities for not letting the menstruating women enter the temple was clearly violet the article 17 which talks about the abolition of Untouchability in any form.

The Supreme Court took into consideration the Essential Practices Test which has been consistently used by the courts from time to time. It empowers the court to determine whether a religious practice is an ‘essential practice’ or not as per the notions and beliefs of that religious community. This was observed by the Supreme court in 1954 in the case of The Commissioner, Hindu Religious Endowments, Madras v Shri Lakshmindra Thirtha,[3] Swamiyar of Shri Shirur Mutt. The test lays down that what constitutes an essential part of religion will be ascertained concerning the tenets and doctrines of that religion itself.

Related case

They were collectively referred to as Rama Krishna Matt or Rama Krishna Mission. Similarly, to the question of whether Sabarimala is a denomination, the institution satisfies the conditions to recognize itself as a denomination. the Supreme Court while interpreting this Right of a religious denomination.

In the case of D. R. R Varu v. State of Andhra Pradesh[4] has explicitly noted that only the denomination should have the autonomy to manage its religious affairs and infringement of which would lead to violation of the right under Article 26(d) of the Constitution of India. A perusal of the case H. R. & C. E., Madras v. Sree Lakshmindra Thirtha Swamiar of Sri Shiruru Mutt5[5], the court elaborated on the fact that religion may not only prescribe the ethical conduct for worship but also can prescribe other rituals, modes of worship, and observances for the people seeking entry into the place of worship

In another case of Mohd Hanif Qureshi v. the State of Bihar[6], the Qureshi Muslims of Bihar petitioned to the Supreme Court challenging the ban on cow slaughter on the ground that it infringed on their fundamental right to religion as they were compelled by their religion to sacrifice cows on Bakrid. The court looks Islamic religious texts; found that there was no evidence to show that sacrifice of cows on Bakrid was essential practice for the Qureshi Muslims.

Thus, there have been several; cases where the court had distinguished between the practices of religion and mere adornments to it. Court by giving decision could be seen distinguishing between religious practices and superstitious beliefs. The case of Sabrimala become one of the examples such example where the Supreme Court determined and drew a parallel between Right to Religion and Right to Equality as the basic fundamental rights given by the Constitution of India and through its judgment uplifted the ban which was imposed on women from entering the temple.

Majority judges: Grounds

The majority of judges ruled in favour of petitioner and therefore are allowed the entry of all women of all ages into the Sabrimala Temple. They were of the opinion that this practice was a discriminatory and therefore should not be allowed to prevail any further, The dualism that persist in religion by glory fine and when you waiting women as god bless on one hand and by imposing rigorous action on the other hand in matter of devotion has to be a bond owned by relationship with the creator is a trans and Dental one crossing all to society created artificial barriers and not a negotiated relationship bound by the terms and condition such a relationship and expression of devotion cannot be comes scribed by dogmatic notion of biological or psychological factors arising out of rigid social culture attitude which do not meet the constitutionality proscribe test.

The provision of section 4(1)

Provision of section 4(1)[7] create a exception to the effect that 95 the regulation rules made under section for class one shall not discriminate in any manner, whosoever against any Hindu on the ground that he she belonged to a particular section of class.

 Applicability of Article 17 of the constitution

The social exclusion of women based on menstrual status is a form of untouchability which is an and nothing to constitutional values nations of purity and pollution with stick mate ise individual have no place in a constitutional order.

 Article 25 right to freely practice religion

 Rule 3 (B) of the 1965[8] rule violate the light of Hindu women to freely practice their religion and exhibit their devotion towards Laut Aaye Ayyappa Daniel D nude them of their right to worship the right to practice religion under article 25(1) is equally available to both men and women of all age groups were facing the same religion.

Religious Denomination

In the view of the law laid down by the court in three rules and SP Mittal the devotees of Lord Ayyappa do not constitute a separate religious denomination they do not have common religious 3 and specular to themselves which they regarded as a during to their spiritual well-being other than those which are common to Hindu religion therefore the devoted 92 Lord Ayyappa our exclusive Hindu and do not constitute a separate religious denomination.

Justice Indu Malhotra judgement

Justice Indu Malhotra gave a separate and dissenting judgement in this case she accepted the argument of respondent and deliver her judgement in their favour, The summary of the judgement is as follows the writ petition does not deserve to be entertained for standing the grievance raised are non-justifiable at the behest of the petitioner and intervention was involved herein.

The equality Doctrine enshrined under article 14 does not override the fundamental rights guaranteed by the article 25 of Indian constitution to every individual to relieve process practice and propagate their faith in accordance with the tenants of their religious, Constitutional morality in a secular polity would imply the harmonious station of fundamental right which include the right of every individual religious denomination or left the practice their faith and belief in accordance with the tenants of religion in respect of whether the practice is national or logical.

The limit restriction on the entry of women during the notified 8 group does not fall within the provision of Article 17 of the constitution’s rule 3 (B) of the 1965 rule is not Ultra vires section 3 of 1965 Act,[9]  Since the provision of curves out an exception in the case of public worship in a temple for the benefit of any religious denomination of that they’re of to manage their affairs in matter of religion in light of a force a discussion and analysis the writ petition cannot be entertained on the ground enumerator  herein above.

Judgment of case

The judgement of Sabrimala record for the battles between the religious believe practices and notion of equality for every citizen the Sabrimala decision is hold and empathetic and the kind there are different notions of morality custom and religions but from this case the supreme court highlighted the highest notion of morality that is Constitutional morality in the era of 21st century we are one hand we talk about development grow prosperity Global leader and world power on the other hand you still tied with the chain of our deep rooted conversation ideology of certain customs please and hands well as a society and as a nation.

In this case Supreme Court are fledged after the verdict, many changes many gender-specific would be seen in the infrastructure of Temple premises moreover only be pronouncing the word it would not ensure its applicability at ground level the code need to make sure about the happening at ground level and need to ensure that the women are not denied entry Sabrimala is not the only temple where discrimination exist on the ground of religious believe but there are many other temples in the country where men or not allowed , This but it has opened the floor of Supreme Court as analyse whether the Judiciary net point events in this aspect as well as this practice also discriminating.

Analysing Sabrimala Temple Case

By analysing I will find out that I am disagree with the dissenting opinion of justice Indu Malhotra in the Sabrimala Temple case according to her it was an issue involving the religious sentiments and practice of the people and the court should not interfere with it but when we look at the view taken by the court in other similar case like shayara Bano vs Union of India[10] judgement where in the practice of instant triple talaq

was declared to be unconstitutional it become quite lucid that a fundamental right prevail over other custom and practices because they are basic right guarantee to all citizen of the India by the constitution of India and cannot be taken away by such custom. will we strive to abolished Sati untouchability and many other discriminatory practices prevail in the society to ensure equal treatment to all that custom and practices that make and reasonable classification between two classes of citizen should also be abolished in order to provide equal rights to all citizen and strength and gender equality the practice prevailing in the Sabrimala temple of not allowing women between the age of 10 to 50 years is based upon a myth and therefore is unjust and baseless everybody has an equal right to prayer and the patriarchy prevail in the society should not be given the power to in switch this right, I am agree with the judgement of the majority judges in the case and support every ground on which there this judgement is based upon

[1] 25 of article 26 of constitution

[2] As the naisthika brahmacharya nature of the deity Lord Ayyapan

[3] Madras v Shri Lakshmindra Thirtha,

[4] D. R. R Varu v. State of Andhra Pradesh

[5] H. R. & C. E., Madras v. Sree Lakshmindra Thirtha Swamiar of Sri Shiruru Mutt5

[6] Mohd Hanif Qureshi v. the State of Bihar,

[7] Provision of section 4(1)

[8] Rule 3 (B) of the 1965

[9] Article 17 of the constitution’s rule 3 (B) of the 1965 rule is not Ultra vires section 3 of 1965 Act, 

[10] shayara Bano vs Union of India

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