This case will decide whether the prohibition of entry by women between the ages of 10 and 50 to the Sabrimala Temple violates the Constitution of India.
The Sabarimala temple, considered the abode of Lord Ayappa, is located in the Periyar Tiger Reserve in the Western Ghat mountain ranges of Pathanamthitta District of Kerala. It prohibits the entry of women in their ‘menstruating years’ (between the ages of 10 to 50) under Rule 3 of Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules.
In 1991, this ban had been challenged before the Kerala High Court in S. Mahendran v. The Secretary, Travancore. The Court ruled that the ban was constitutional and justified, as it was long-standing custom prevailing since time immemorial.
In 2006, the Indian Young Lawyers Association filed a public interest litigation petition before the Supreme Court, challenging this Rule, and seeking lifting of the ban on the entry of women. It argues that the ban violates the right to equality, discriminates on the basis of gender, and violates Article 25 which provides the right to practice and propagate religion.
On 18th August, 2006, the Supreme Court issued notices to the parties. The matter was referred to a 3-judge Bench on March 7th, 2008. It came up for hearing seven years later, on 11th January 2016. On 20th February 2017, the Court expressed its inclination to refer the case to a Constitution Bench.
On 13th October 2017, a bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice R. Banumathi, and Justice Ashok Bhushan, passed an order for the constitution of a larger Bench to look at the issues.
Written Submissions by Ms Indira Jaising on behalf of the intervenors (Students who are part of the ‘Happy to Bleed’ campaign)
Petition by Intervenor – Parameswaran Nampoothiri
Additional Affidavit submitted by the State of Kerala
Matter referred to a larger Bench. Court frames five questions for consideration of the Bench.
Visit our pages
Thank you for your feedback!