The Supreme Court on Friday, 28 September 2018, allowed entry of women of all age group to the Sabarimala temple in Kerala by 4:1 majority.
The Supreme Court ended the age-old custom that barred women in the menstruating age group of 10-50 from entering the temple to worship Lord Ayyappa, to ensure gender equality at religious places.
A five-judge Constitution bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice R F Nariman, Justice A M Khanwilkar, Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Indu Malhotra by 4:1 majority held that devotees of Lord Ayyappa were exclusively Hindus and did not constitute a separate religious denomination and that the practice of exclusion of some women could not be regarded as an essential part of religion.
Justice Indu Malhotra, the lone woman in the bench, dissented
The court said “exclusion of Women from worship is incompatible with dignity, destructive of liberty and a denial of the equality of all human beings. these constitutional values stand above everything else”