Bombay HC says, Prohibiting Women against their entry in Temple can entail Criminal liability

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Mumbai: Today, on Wednesday, 30th March, the Bombay High Court found observing that, there is no law preventing women from entering a place of worship. Further court said that, if male human beings are allowed, then female humans also should be permitted.

While considering a Public Interest Litigation, which was filed by Nilima Vartak- a senior Advocate along with a social activist- Vidya Bal, the bench of the High Court, comprising of Chief Justice D. H. Waghela and Justice- M. S. Sonak, further said that if anyone or even any temple is imposing any such restrictions against Women then they could be required to face a six- month period’s jail under the Law of Maharashtra.

In their claim, the petitioners found challenging the prohibition on entry of Women in the Shani Shingnapur temple in the district of Ahmednagar in Maharashtra. In the petition, further they sought to claim Women’s entry in the temple along with their entry inside its sanctum sanctorum. Moreover, they claimed the said prohibition against the Women is “arbitrary, illegal, and violative” of Fundamental Rights of the Citizens (women).

In the decision, the honourable Chief Justice- Waghela found stated today, that in the state there is no such law which prevents the entry of Women in any place. Further he said that “if you allow men then you should allow women also”. He also sought to question that when male persons are allowed to go and pray before the deity, then “whey not women?”.

Further, the bench of High Court said that, as per the provisions contemplated under the Maharashtra Hindu Place of Worship (Entry Authorisation) Act, 1956, “if any temple or person” is prohibiting any person from “entering a temple” then he or she, as the case may be, will be facing the imprisonment up to the term of six- month.

Moreover, the court found stated that the Government should also give “wide publicity to the Act” and also it is required that they should issue circulars, informing the larger general public about such law. Also, the Government pleader- Abhinandan Vagyani was asked by the Court to take instructions and make a statement, on the issue of Women’s entrance in the temple, by coming Friday.

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