Constitution, not tradition, should be the basis of argument, Supreme Court tells temple officials

Can tradition trump Constitution SCs scathing observations against SabarimalaSreekesh
news Sabarimala Monday, April 11, 2016 - 14:56

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the petitioners in the Sabarimala temple case whether tradition was bigger than the Constitution.

The court made these observations on Monday in response to the submissions of the Sabarimala Temple Board. In February, the apex court had given the Board six weeks’ time to reply on the matter.

“What right does temple have to forbid women from entering any part of temple, please argue on bedrock of Constitution” the Supreme Court orally observed.

The court on February 11 said why the Board discriminates against women when Vedas, Upanishads do not discriminate between men and women.

The apex court had also appointed senior advocate Raju Ramachandran as amicus curiae for the case.

The issue first came to prominence when the apex court had questioned the ban on the entry of menstruating women in Sabarimala Ayyappa temple. The court was hearing a PIL filed by the Young Lawyers' Association, seeking entry for all women in the hill shrine.

Following that, the matter has seen many twists and turns.

The ruling UDF government on February 5 said it wants to protect the centuries-old religious tradition after CM Oommen Chandy initially said the government would not interfere in any religious affairs.  

Opposition CPI (M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said that the SC should take a final decision on the issue.  Some Left leaders had welcomed SC observations when the issue first came to light. 

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