The plea was filed by the Kerala president of the Akhila Bharatha Hindu Mahasabha soon after the Sabarimala verdict.

Let a Muslim woman file case SC dismisses plea for entry of women into mosques
news Court Tuesday, July 09, 2019 - 18:25

The Supreme Court dismissed a special leave petition filed by the Kerala president of the Akhila Bharatha Hindu Mahasabha, demanding that Muslim women be allowed to enter mosques and offer their prayers. Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, while dismissing the petition, reportedly remarked, “Let a Muslim woman challenge it,” according to Live Law.

The SC order said: "Having heard the petitioner in person and on perusing the relevant material, we are not inclined to interfere. The special leave petition is accordingly dismissed."

The petition was against the Kerala High Court judgement of October 11, 2018, dismissing the same plea. The petitioner — Swamy Dethathreya Sai Swaroop Nath — had sought an order from the Union Ministry to permit Muslim women to enter masjids and pray.

Read the full HC order here.

In its order, the High Court said that the petitioner ‘who claims to be the State President of the Akhila Bharatha Hindu Maha Sabha, Kerala Unit, does not purport to represent the Muslim women in the State, whose rights are allegedly infringed through a denial of entry into a masjid.’

The HC order also stated that the writ petition does not include material that suggests that such a practice of denying entry to Muslim women exists in mosques. “In the absence of any material to suggest that there exists a practice of denying entry to Muslim women in Masjids, it may not be possible for this Court, in proceedings under Article 226 WP(C).No. 33240 of 2018 3 of the Constitution of India, to embark upon a fact finding enquiry as regards the existence of any such practice, and whether the said practice amounts to a breach of the fundamental rights under Art. 14, 21 or 25 of the Constitution,” it said.

The court also observed that a report about the filing of the PIL appeared in the media even before it was taken up by the court. “We suspect therefore that this PIL is motivated by a desire of the petitioner for cheap publicity. We are of the view that the proceedings under Article 226 of the Constitution of India cannot be permitted to be misused for such purposes,” the order further said. 

The petition was filed only days after the September 2018 judgment of the Supreme Court, which allowed entry to women of all ages to the Sabarimala temple in Kerala. Swamy Dethathreya’s petition had submitted that in the context of the Sabarimala verdict, the need of the hour is the entry of Muslim women devotees in mosques for prayers along with men, Live Law reported.

In October 2016, the ban on women entering the Haji Ali Dargah Trust was lifted following a Bombay High Court order. The ban had come into place in 2011-12. The petition for entry at the time was filed by  Naz and Zakia Soman, members of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan. 

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