Justice Indu Malhotra, only woman on Sabarimala bench to give dissenting verdict

The Supreme Court pronounced its verdict on a clutch of pleas challenging the ban on entry of women between 10 and 50 years of age into the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.

Sabarimala temple verdict: SC to pronounce its judgement tomorrow
Supreme Court pronounces its verdict on Sabrimala temple in favour of women/ File PTI image
By: ABP News Bureau
Updated: 28 Sep 2018 02:12 PM
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday pronounced its verdict on the entry of women of menstrual age in Kerala's Sabrimala temple and said law and society are tasked with the task to act as levellers. The five judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra gave a 4:1 verdict.
In four set of judgements, CJI wrote for himself and Justice A M Khanwilkar, while Justice Indu Malhotra gave a separate dissenting verdict. While reading its judgment, the apex court held that "Women and men are equal as individuals" and that both  have equal right to religion . CJI Dipak Misra while pronouncing the judgment said "Banning entry of women to shrine is gender discrimination".

  • Patriarchal notion cannot be allowed to trump equality in devotion: CJI

  • Religion is a way of life basically to link life with divinity: CJI

  • Sabarimala Temple practice violates rights of Hindu women: CJI

  • Devotees of Lord Ayyappa do not constitute separate denomination: CJI

  • Kerala law denies rights to women on ground of physiological reasons: CJI.

  • Sabarimala temple practice violates rights of Hindu women: CJI

  • Sabarimala temple custom barring women of 10-50 age is not backed by Article 25 and 26 of the Constitution:Justice Nariman

  • Religion cannot be used as cover to deny rights of worship to women. It is also against human dignity: Justice Chnadrachud

  • Prohibition on women is due to non-religious reasons and it is a grim shadow of discrimination going on for centuries: Justice Chandrachud.

  • Popular notion about morality can be offensive to dignity of others: Justice Chandrachud.

  • Exclusion of women because she menstruates is utterly unconstitutional, says Justice Chandrachud.


Differing in her views from 4 other judges, Justice Indu Malhotra said:

  • Issues which have deep religious connotation should not be tinkered with to maintain secular atmosphere in the country, says Justice Indu Malhotra

  • It is not for courts to determine which religious practices are to be struck down except in issues of social evil like 'Sati': Justice Malhotra

  • Issue in this case not limited to Sabarimala only. It'll have far reaching implications for other places of worships: Justice Malhotra

  • Notions of rationality cannot be brought into matters of religion: Justice Indu Malhotra

  • India has diverse religious practices and constitutional morality would allow anyone to profess a religion they believe: Justice Malhotra

  • It is not for court to interfere in religious practices even if it appears discriminatory: Justice Malhotra






Speaking on SC verdict,Sabarimala head priest Kandararu Rajeevaru expressed unhappiness over the same, saying "Disappointed but accept Supreme Court verdict on women entry".

The verdict came after a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had reserved its judgement on August 1 after hearing the matter for eight days.

The bench, which also comprised Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, had earlier said that the constitutional scheme prohibiting exclusion has "some value" in a "vibrant democracy".

The top court's verdict dealt with the petitions filed by petitioners Indian Young Lawyers Association and others.

The Kerala government, which has been changing its stand on the contentious issue of women of the menstrual age group entering the Sabarimala temple, had on July 18 told the Supreme Court that it now favoured their entry.

The apex court had on October 13 last year referred the issue to a constitution bench after framing five "significant" questions including whether the practice of banning entry of women into the temple amounted to discrimination and violated their fundamental rights under the Constitution.

The Supreme Court also likely to pronounce on Friday its verdict on a plea by historian Romila Thapar and others seeking the immediate release of five rights activists in connection with the Koregaon-Bhima violence case and an SIT probe into their arrest.

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