- Ban on the entry of women between the age of 10 and 50 years at Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala in Kerala.
Judgement on Issue :-
- The Supreme Court held that there is no concept of private temples and there could be no discrimination on basis of gender, sex and menstrual age.
- The SC said women have a fundamental right to access places of worship and the decision of the Travancore Devaswom Board to restrict entry needs to be re-examined.
- Justice Nariman said the classification barring women of 10-50 age group seemed unconstitutional “on the face of it” as a person could be in a stage of menstruation below 10 years or above 50 too.
- Women’s right to enter a temple wasn’t dependent on any law, a five-judge Constitution bench of CJI Dipak Misra and Justices Rohinton F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra held.
The bench said all persons were equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right to profess, practice and propagate religion. Therefore, CJI said
CJI Dipak Misra :- If a man can go then a woman can also go. Both male and female can be denied access on the ground of health, morality and public order. What applies to the male is also applicable to female. Discrimination on the ground of gender is absolutely against the constitutional mandate. Public place is different from private place but there is no concept of a private temple. Once it is a temple, then everyone can go.