Mumbai High court opens door of Haji Ali Dargah for women  
 Source : Agencies  Date : 26-Aug-2016

Mumbai, August 26: In a landmark verdict, Mumbai high court on Friday allowed women to enter the inner sanctum of Haji Ali Dargah. However, as the trust has appealed to the Supreme Court against the decision, today's verdict is put on hold for six weeks.

The court asked the state to ensure protection for female devotees and granted the trust six weeks to implement the order. A bench of Justice VM Kanade and Revati Dere said the ban was against Article 14 (equality before law), Article 15 (no discrimination on sex, gender, religion etc) and Article 21 (right to life and liberty) of the Constitution.

The decision comes in response to a petition by a Muslim women’s foundation that asked the court to restore the shrine’s regulations to 2012, when women were allowed into the sanctum sanctorum through separate queues and at restricted timings.

Earlier in February, Maharashtra Government had supported lifting of ban on entry of women into the sanctum sanctorum of the 15th century Shrine. The court had asked for Government opinion on the plea challenging ban of women entry in the sanctorum of the tomb.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has spoken out against discrimination in worship and said tradition must accommodate change.

Earlier this year, Shani Shingnapur temple of Nagpur was also ordered by court to allow women to enter the inner sanctorum of the temple. Post the order, Activist Tripti Desai and hundreds of women entered the holy Shani Shani temple in Maharashtra.