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    India’s Top Court Rejects Plea Seeking Access for Women to Mosques - Netizens Have Mixed Response

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    New Delhi (Sputnik): India’s Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea seeking to allow Muslim women to enter into mosques and prohibiting the practice of the Burqa, or veil system. The court said it would be willing to hear the petition afresh if it were presented by a Muslim woman or women.

    A three-judge Bench of India’s apex court, comprising of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Deepak Gupta, and Justice Aniruddha Bose said the petition filed by the right-wing All India Hindu Mahasabha (Akhil Bharath Hindu Mahasabha) had no merit.

    A section of netizens was left stunned to see the Supreme Court of India, which gave its verdict in the case of the rights of women to enter otherwise barred-for-women Hindu temples, not coming up with similar directions for Muslim women.

    Those criticizing Monday’s ruling by the apex court said the court was contradicting its own order of September 2018, when it had ruled that women of all age groups could enter the Sabarimala Temple in Kerala, and freely practise the Hindu religion and exhibit their devotion and worship towards the presiding deity Lord Ayyappa.

    The then verdict was passed with a 4-1 majority, with Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and Justices A. M. Khanwilkar, R. F. Nariman and D. Y. Chandrachud in favour of permitting women to enter the temple, while Justice Indu Malhotra dissented. The Supreme Court then observed that the custom of barring women was in violation of Article 25 (Clause 1) and Rule 3(b) of Kerala Hindu Places of Worship.

     

    The apex court said, “Let a Muslim woman come, then we will consider."

    Monday’s appeal to the Supreme Court was made after the high court in India’s southern Kerala state had rejected a similar appeal.

    The appeal was made by Swamy Dethathreya Sai Swaroop Nath, the president of the Kerala unit of the All India Hindu Mahasabha (Akhil Bharath Hindu Mahasabha).

    Sai Swaroop Nath also appealed for the removal of the purdah or burqa system, which requires Muslim women to cover their faces.

    Some netizens said that people or groups filing such pleas should avoid such sensitive issues, especially those concerning other communities.

    ​On Monday, the apex court bench agreed with the Kerala High Court order of 11 October 2018, that the plea was nothing more than an exercise in cheap publicity.

    The court ruled that the provisions of Article 226 of the Indian Constitution with regard to the alleged violation of fundamental rights, could not be misused for such purposes.

    Related:

    ‘Misusing Freedom’: Muslim Women in India Demand End to Shariah Courts
    1,400 People Detained During Rallys Against Allowing Women in Sabarimala Shrine
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