Court must not interfere in ‘deeply religious’ issues: Indu Malhotra’s dissent in Sabarimala verdict [Excerpts]

Source Post: – DB Post.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that women, irrespective of age, can enter Kerala’s Sabarimala temple, thereby putting an end to a centuries-old tradition – which restricted women aged 10 to 50 (the typical duration of time when a woman menstruates) from entering its premises.

The constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra – which also comprised Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra – gave a 4:1 verdict, wherein Malhotra turned out to be the dissenting judge.

In her dissent opinion, Malhotra – the only female judge on the bench – said that issue is critical and to various religion and that cases involving “deep religious sentiments” should not be “ordinarily” be interfered by the court.

‘Deity is protected by Article 25’

“Issues of deep religious sentiments should not be ordinarily be interfered by the Court. The Sabarimala shrine and the deity is protected by Article 25 of Constitution of India and the religious practices cannot be solely tested on the basis of Article 14,” Malhotra said.

While adding that “notion of rationality cannot be invoked in the matters of religion” and in a diverse country like India, Constitutional morality should allow everybody to practise their beliefs, unless there is an aggrieved person from the particular section or religion.

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