The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the Centre, the Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government, Delhi Police and Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah to reply to a petition seeking entry of women in the shrine’s sanctum sanctorum, PTI reported.
In their plea, a group of women law students from Pune have claimed that authorities maintaining the shrine, which is built over the grave of a Sufi saint, have banned the entry of women. The petitioners cited the Supreme Court’s September verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.
The petitioners claimed that the restriction imposed on women was unconstitutional. “Nizamuddin Dargah by its very nature is a public place and prohibition of entry of anyone in a public place on the basis of gender is contrary to the framework of the Constitution of India,” LiveLaw quoted them as saying.
A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice VK Rao asked the authorities to file their response by April 11. The court said it would wait for the Supreme Court to decide on the review petitions challenging the Sabarimala verdict, ANI reported.
Protests broke out in several parts of Kerala in September and the following month after the top court overturned the ban on the entry of women of menstruating age into the Sabarimala shrine. So far, protestors have prevented women between the ages of 10 and 50 from entering the temple.
In November, the Supreme Court agreed to hear on January 22 a batch of 49 review petitions against its verdict. The court clarified that its September order will continue to be in force.