Welcoming the Supreme Court referring to a Constitution Bench the issue of whether a ban on entry of women aged between 10-50 years in Kerala's Sabarimala temple was discriminatory, Travancore Devasom Board (TDB) president Prayar Gopalakrishnan on Friday said even if the court allows them, devout and decent women won't come to the temple.
TDB owns temples in the southern districts of the state including Sabarimala.
Speaking to reporters here, Gopalakrishnan said that there are going to be huge security issues if all women are allowed entry.
"Just imagine if all women are going to come, then women police officials have to be posted. Then comes the issue of providing safety and security to both women pilgrims and women police officials. Even if the court approves of the decision to allow entry, no devout and decent woman in this age group is going to come...," said Gopalakrishnan, a former Congress legislator.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice R. Banumathi and Justice Ashok Bhushan in its judgment framed five questions to be addressed by the Constitution Bench, including if exclusion of women in this age group based on biological factors amounts to "discrimination" and violates the very core of Articles 14, 15 and 17 and not protected by 'morality' as used in Articles 25 and 26 of the Constitution and if excluding such women constitutes an "essential religious practice" under Article 25.
In another poser, the court has asked whether "Ayyappa Temple has a denominational character" and if it was permissible for religious denomination managed by a statutory board and funded by the Kerala and Tamil Nadu governments to indulge in practices "violating the constitutional principles/morality embedded in Articles 14, 15(3), 39(a) and 51-A (e) of the constitution".
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