Entry to Mosque and Temple

On 16/4/2019 Supreme Court took up a petition filed by Zuber Peerzade and Yasmeen Peerzade, a couple from Poona, seeking direction to Muslim authorities to allow women to enter mosques to offer prayers. The bench consisted of Justices S. A. Bobde and S. Abdul Nazeer. Ashutosh Dubey was the lawyer of petitioners. The petition quoted Supreme Court order in Sabarimala case which said ”religion can not be used as cover to deny rights of worship to women and it is also against human dignity…”
Justice Bobde argued with Ashutosh Dubey about applicability of Article 14 to mosques. Article 14 states “Equality before law – The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.” Justice Bobde asked “Is a mosque a State?” Ashutosh Dubey replied the mosque receives grants from the State and as such can not deny entry to women.
The Justices were not happy with the petition. They said they were hearing the plea only “because of the judgment in Sabarimala.” Supreme Court issued notices to Central Government, All India Muslim Personal Law Board and National Commission for Women.
Sabarimala Temple had ban on entry of women in 10-50 age group. Temple authorities had argued that there is no discrimination, only differentiation, as there is another Temple where only women can enter and men are banned. Supreme Court rejected that argument and allowed entry of women in 10-50 age group.
Supreme Court Justices who delivered 4-1 majority judgment in Sabarimala case should have known they were opening a Pandora’s Box and opening doors for litigations challenging all types of religious customs, rules and traditions. Sabarimala case set a precedent. Women who had challenged the ban were not devotees of the deity of Sabarimala. Women devotees of the deity favoured ban.
What will be the response of Central Government, All India Muslim Personal Law Board and National Commission for Women? It is election time. Central Government headed by Narenda Modi will calculate repercussions of any response. All India Muslim Personal Law Board is likely to oppose entry of women in mosques. National Commission for Women is expected to side with women.
A Muslim man can legally be married to four women at a time. Some Hindu men have become Muslims to marry second time without divorce. Muslim Personal Law will face challenges as discriminatory. In one case Chander Mohan Bishnoi who was Deputy Chief Minister of Haryana pursued Anuradha Bali who was Assistant Advocate General. He became Chand Mohammed. Anuradha Bali became Fiza. They married as per Muslim rite. On 29/1/2009 Chander Mohan alias Chand Mohammed left Anuradha Bali alias Fiza saying he loved his first wife and children. He returned to Hinduism on 28/7/2009. Anuradha was found dead on 6/8/2012. She was cremated on 7/8/2012.
The case regarding entry of women in mosques is likely to go to a five-judge bench.

Updated: April 17, 2019 — 2:03 pm

3 Comments

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  1. Most welcome site & post.

  2. Sabarimala became an issue only because of the new kind of silly nationalism that Modi and his bhakts are spreading like a plague across the country. The whole air in the country is vitiated by these people.

    Does it really matter to anyone whether some people are permitted to enter a temple or not? If the women don’t want to enter, let them not. If some want to, let them too. That’s what the Supreme Court said. It was an RSS woman who actually filed the case first. Then what the hell was BJP doing with the verdict?

  3. The RSS & BJP welcomed the Sabarimala verdict first. Then they turned the plate expecting some undue advantage in this elections. The PM did not do anything in this regard. But yesterday he said in Kerala that he will bring a law or file a review petition in the SC if reelected to power. Dirty political stands!

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