The five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday passed an order allowing a Parsi woman who married outside the community to enter the ‘tower of silence’ when her parents pass away, The Indian Express reported.
Parsis leave their dead to decompose naturally at these raised structures.
The court ruled on a petition filed by Goolrukh Gupta, who married a Hindu man. In 2010, the Gujarat High Court upheld Parsi law, according to which a woman who has married outside the community loses her religious rights. Gupta argued that the high court’s verdict denied a woman the fundamental right to freely profess and practise her religion under Article 25 of the Constitution.
On being urged by the top court, the Parsi Panchayat in Gujarat’s Valsad district on Thursday said that it would allow Gupta to attend the funeral ceremonies of her parents when the time comes, The Times of India reported. The panchayat consulted the high priest of the Parsi community before taking the decision, senior advocate Gopal Subramanium said.
The bench last week had said that it would examine the case and decide whether a woman marrying outside her faith can be assumed to have converted to her husband’s religion.