SC Rejects Plea Seeking Women’s Entry Into Mosques

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the Akhila Bharatha Hindu Mahasabha’s plea that Muslim women should be allowed to enter mosques for offering prayers.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said: “Let a Muslim woman come and challenge it. Then we will consider.”

The court was hearing a petition filed by Swamy Dethathreya Sai Swaroop Nath, the Kerala President of Akhila Bharatha Hindu Mahasabha, challenging a Kerala High Court order dismissing his plea.

Asking the petitioner whether he is an affected person, the bench said that it did not see any merit with interfering with the high court order.

It also referred to the Kerala High Court order dubbing the plea a publicity exercise.

The Kerala High Court, in its order, also said: “The petition does not disclose material that would suggest that there is an established practice whereby Muslim women are being denied entry into masjids (mosques).”

It had also noted that the petitioner does not represent the Muslim women, whose rights are allegedly infringed through a denial of entry into a masjid.

“A petition alleging violation of fundamental rights must indicate the nature of the right that is allegedly breached, the factual components of such right, as also the action that resulted in its breach,” the high court had said in its order delivered in October 2018.

It had also noted that there was no averment in the petition that any of the rights of Muslim women are violated.

“The averments in the writ petition do not suggest that the petitioner is a person who should be ordinarily concerned with the rituals and practices of the Islamic religion and, in particular, the alleged denial of entry to Muslim women in masjids.

“He (Nath) has also not satisfactorily established his credentials as a person who has a history of espousing such causes before the superior courts in our country,” it had said.

The petitioner had also sought a ban on burqa and said such practice caused lot of discomfort and also gives a chance for anti-social elements to misuse the apparel to conceal oneself.

He further added that such practices degrade, segregate and discriminate against Muslim women.