Big victory for #RightToPray campaign: Landmark verdict lifts ban on entry of women into Haji Ali dargah

MUMBAI (TIP): In a landmark verdict, the Bombay High Court today lifted the ban on women’s entry inside the inner sanctum of the Haji Ali Dargah.

While delivering the verdict, the High Court stated that the ban imposed on women is contrary to the fundamental rights of a person as provided in the Constitution.

High Court has said that women should be permitted in the dargah along with men and has ordered the Maharashtra government to provide security to ensure the safety of the women.

A bench of Justice Vidyasagar Kanade and Justice Revati Mohite-Dere gave the verdict on a public interest litigation which urged lifting restriction on women inside the inner sanctum which houses the mazaar or tomb of the saint. The ban was imposed by somewhere between March and June 2012 by the Haji Ali Dargah Trust.

The Trust had defended the ban saying entry of women in close proximity to the tomb of a male saint is grievous sin in Islam.

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The State government had batted for women saying they cannot be banned inside the inner sanctum unless it is shown that banning them is integral to Islam.

On 30th March 2016, the Bombay HC had observed that there’s no law which prevents women from entering temples. The HC also said that women should have equal access to places of worship and it is the state government’s duty to protect rights of women.

“If you allow men then you should allow women also”, the HC added.

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