SC imposes stay on ban on women’s entry in Haji Ali
Drawing a parallel between the restriction on women's right to worship at the Sabarimala temple in Kerala and Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai, the Supreme Court said that ‘exclusion’ is practised by both Hindus and Muslims and the “problem needs to be addressed”.
The stay on ban was announced after hearing a plea by Haji Ali Dargah Trust challenging the recent Bombay High Court judgement directing equal entry rights for women and men into the dargah's sanctum sanctorum.
Senior advocate and the Trust's counsel Gopal Subramanium contended that there is no exclusion practised in the dargah. He said it is only that men are “slightly closer” to the sanctum while women are at a certain distance.
“Exclusion is not there if nobody is allowed after a certain point. There is exclusion if women are not allowed after a certain point and men are”.
On August 26, the High Court held that the ban imposed by the Trust, prohibiting women from entering the sanctum sanctorum of the Haji Ali Dargah, contravened Articles 14, 15 and 25 of the Constitution and said women should be permitted to enter the sanctum sanctorum like men.