The Sabrimala Temple officials had banned the entry of women between the age group of 10-50 years into the Temple. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India while dealing with such practise has observed that ” The practices of age restriction on women entry to Sabrimala Temple cannot be treated as essential religious practice.”
The verdict came in a majority four one judgment. The only women Judge on the Five Judge Constitution Bench, Justice Indu Malhotra had a dissenting view. For centuries women of menstrual age were restricted from entering the temple as its presiding deity, Lord Ayyappa is considered to be a Celibate.
“Lord Ayyappa is not separate denomination.” “Religion is for one dignity with identity. Right to practice religion is available to man and woman.”
During the hearings, the Travancore Devaswom Board which runs the over 800 years old Lord Ayyappa Temple had told the Court that the ban is not anty women and is the voluntarily accepted by them. But the top Curt underlined with all the customary or religious practices such as the ban on entry of women had to conform to constitutional principles.