However, the high court decision has been put on hold for six months as the shrine trust will appeal to the apex court
Geetanjali Minhas | August 26, 2016 | Mumbai
Women now have the right to enter the inner sanctum of Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai, the Bombay high court said on Friday. However, the women cannot enter the shrine as per the orders of the high court as of now. The shrine trust will appeal to the supreme court and hence the order has been stayed for six weeks.
The division bench of Justice VM Kanade and Justice Revati Mohite Dere held that the ban was violating Articles 14, 15 and 25 of the constitution. The court also directed the state to ensure safety of the respondents and women entering the Dargah.
The PIL filed by Zakia Soman and Noorjehan Niaz against the restriction on the entry of women was first mentioned before Chief Justice Mohit Shah on November 7, 2014.
Earlier when the bench headed by Justice VM Kanade had suggested for an amicable solution and the Dargah Trust was asked to consider allowing women to enter the mazaar, the trust had unanimously held that the “entry of women in the close vicinity of a male saint was a grievous sin”.
When the state was asked to give its opinion the then Advocate General Shreehari Aney had said that the role of the state is defined by its duty to make sure that law is equally applied. “If we look at Article 26, the Dargah committee cannot say that according to our interpretation of our religion, preventing entry of women inside the sanctum sanctorum is tantamount to law.”
When Justice Kanade enquired whether the court should take a view in this matter, Aney replied, “If something is there in the constitution that is difficult to apply then which court but this can take a view. It will be avoiding an issue if you do not take a view.”
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