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TDB takes a U-turn, supports entry of women of all age groups

In an unexpected move, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which runs the historic Sabarimala temple in Kerala lent its support to the Supreme Court on the entry of women into the holy shrine.

The board has finally agreed to allow women of all age groups into Sabarimala temple.

Despite several violent protests, the Kerala government has finally took the stand that it was in agreement with the September 28, 2018 verdict and had urged dismissal of petitions seeking review of the judgment.

“Article 25 (1) equally entitles all persons to practice religion,” senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, appearing for TDB, told the Bench which also comprises Justices R.F. Nariman, A.M. Khanwilkar, D.Y. Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra.

The Board had earlier vehemently opposed the PIL by Indian Young Lawyers Association saying that the celibate character of Lord Aiyappa at Sabarimala temple was a unique religious feature which was protected under the constitution.

“Women cannot be excluded from any walk of life on biological attributes… equality is the dominant theme of the Constitution”, said Mr. Dwivedi adding that people should gracefully accept the apex court verdict.

The Supreme Court reserved its verdict on a batch of petitions seeking review of the verdict allowing the entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala shrine.

On September 28, a five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by the then CJI Dipak Misra, in a 4:1 verdict had paved the way for the entry of women of all ages into the shrine, saying the ban amounted to gender discrimination.

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