Entry of women into mosques: SC issues notice to Centre

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave its consent to hear a plea urging permission to Muslim women for entering mosques to offer namaz.

The court issued notice on the plea by Muslim couple seeking direction to declare the prohibition on entry of Muslim women into mosques in the country “illegal and unconstitutional” as it infringes women’s fundamental rights.

The petitioners said in the plea: “That the act of prohibition of females from entering mosque is void and unconstitutional as such practices are not only repugnant to the basic dignity of a woman as an individual but also violative of the fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 15, 21 and 25 of the Constitution.”

The petition also mentioned the practice in Mecca, where “the faithful, both men and women, together circumambulate the Kaaba”. It added that the world’s most sacred mosques equally allow both men and women.

The couple contended there were no records stating that the Holy Quran and Prophet Muhammad had opposed women’s entry to mosques to offer prayers. Hearing the petition today, the apex court issued notice to the Centre, National Commission for Women, Central Waqf Council and All India Muslim Personal Law Board and sought their response.

A bench of Justices S A Bobde and S Abdul by issuing notice today stated that the only reason the Court will hear this matter is owing to the judgment in the Sabarimala case.

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