Indian Young Lawyers Asso. &ors. vs. State of Kerala: Case Analysis

    Presently, the instance of ‘Indian Young Lawyers Association v. Province of Kerala and Ors.’ included women’s battle for getting the passage in Sabarimala Shrine Temple situated in the State of Kerala. Women have done a ton of struggle for the security of their privileges. The Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala district in Kerala has been disputable for the arrangement of limiting women of bleeding age to go into Sabarimala Temple, Kerala. For this situation, there were numerous issues brought up in which it was contended by solicitors that arrangements identified with the limitation of women section in temples are unlawful as it disregards Articles 14, 15, 17, 25, 26 of the Indian Constitution.

    Citation- Writ petition (Civil) no. 373 of 2006

    Introduction

    Women in our way of life have since quite a while ago battled openly for equivalent status and portrayal. In any case, the circumstances are presently changing , and the choices of the courts have brought various changes. The Supreme Court has saved the opportunity of Muslim ladies from the act of triple talaq, as on account of Shah Bano.[1] The Supreme Court allowed the section of ladies into Haji Ali Dargah on account of Dr Noorjehan Safia Niaz v. Province Of Maharashtra and Ors.[2]

    Presently, the instance of ‘Indian Young Lawyers Association v. Province of Kerala and Ors.’ included women’s battle for getting the passage in Sabarimala Shrine Temple situated in the State of Kerala. Women have done a ton of struggle for the security of their privileges. The Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala district in Kerala has been disputable for the arrangement of limiting women of bleeding age to go into Sabarimala Temple, Kerala. For this situation, there were numerous issues brought up in which it was contended by solicitors that arrangements identified with the limitation of women section in temples are unlawful as it disregards Articles 14, 15, 17, 25, 26 of the Indian Constitution.

    Finally, as everyone has a right to worship, the Supreme Court held that women of all age groups can enter the Sabarimala Shrine Temple, for it is the guaranteed constitutional and fundamental right of everyone under Articles 25 and 26 of the Indian Constitution. Constitutional values and social reality though have variations. There is a broad gap between the provisions provided in the Constitution of India and society’s truth. The Supreme Court has attempted to bridge the gap between the both in this landmark and infamous judgement.

    Facts 

    The Sabarimala temple is Kerala’s most celebrated temple and it is committed to the love of Lord Ayyappa, who is likewise alluded to as ‘Dharmasastha’ or Lord of Dharma and is adored as a ‘Naishtika Bramhachari’ or an abstinent forever. Hence, according to a warning by the Devaswom Board that deals with the temple, women having a place with the bleeding/menstruating age are not allowed to enter the temple. The Sabarimala temple is overseen by the Travancore Devaswom Board. The exceptionally old limitation that confines women of bleeding age from temple passage had been tested sometimes. 

    In 1991, the Kerala High Court maintained a well established limitation on women of a particular age-bunch entering Sabarimala temple. A two-judge seat proclaimed (on April 5) that the preclusion by the Travancore Devaswom Board that oversees the slope place of worship doesn’t disregard either the Constitution or an appropriate 1965 Kerala law.[3] The writ appeal with respect to the section of women in the premises of Sabarimala Temple was documented in the year 2006. The issue was addressed on the ambit of the key rights contained in Articles 25 and 26 of the Constitution of India. As per the respondents, the said temple, however open to all individuals from the public paying little heed to position, ideology, or religion, is a denominational temple which guarantees the key option to deal with its own undertakings in issues identifying with religion. In 2008, the LDF government of Kerala filed an affidavit supporting a PIL filed by female lawyers challenging the ban on women ‘s entry into Sabarimala.[4]

    The India Young Lawyers Association filed a PIL in 2016 with the Supreme Court, fighting that Rule 3(b) of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules, 1965 that states “Women who are not by custom and usage permitted to enter a position of public worship will not be qualified for enter or offer love in any spot of public worship” abuses protected assurances of correspondence, non-separation and strict opportunity.[5] Whereas, Keralas Left Front Government also favoured this entry later in November of 2016.[6] Thus, regardless of whether such women are covered by Section 3 of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Act, 1965 and whether Rule 3(b) of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules, 1965 was violative of their central right under Article 25(1) and Article 15(1), and ultra vires to the parent Act.

    Issues Before The Court

    1. If “discrimination” leads to exclusionary practise against the female gender then  would the same result in a breach of Articles 14 , 15, and 17? 
    2.  Reinterpretation under Article 25 of the constitution regarding ‘primary religious practices.’ If, in matters of faith, a religious organisation/institution can claim the right to administer its own affairs? 
    3. Does the Sabarimala Temple have a denominational character and  whether or not it is influenced by Article 290-A of India’s Constitution?
    4. Whether the rules of Rule 3 of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) allows a ‘religious denomination’ to bar women between 10 and 50 years of age from entering the Sabarimala Temple? 
    5. Whether Rule 3(b) of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorization of Entry) Law, 1965 is ultra vires to the Constitution? Whether the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorization of Entry) Act, 1965, if treated as an intra vires, would breach the provisions of Part III of the Constitution of India?

    Law Cited/Relied On

    • Article 14 of the Constitution of India
    • Article 15 of the Constitution of India
    • Article 17 of the Constitution of India
    • Article 25 of the Constitution of India
    • Article 26 of the Constitution of India
    • Article 290(A) of the Constitution of India
    • Rule 3(b) of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorization of Entry) Law, 1965.

    https://legalreadings.com/nalsa-v-union-of-india-case-analysis/

    Analysis Of The Case

    Edward B. Taylor ‘s “classic concept of culture , which includes knowledge, belief, art, morality, laws, customs and all other abilities and behaviours acquired by man as a member of society.”[7] Thus, being a part of culture is a crucial part of society hence any defined mode of social conduct within the group is a tradition. A Custom is any settled method of social conduct inside the network. As indicated by Sir John Salmond, “Custom is every now and again the encapsulation of those standards which have lauded themselves to the public heart as standards of equity and public utility.”[8]

    Religion is presumably the most suffering and innovative strain the executives gadget ever made by man. Man changed his dread of the powers of nature into a faction of the obscure and created an arrangement of ceremonies so as to satisfy the extraordinary, or the divinity that directed the overwhelming powers of nature.[9]

    Arguments Advanced By Both Parties

         – Arguments in favour of the entry of Women in the temple were as follows-

    The contentions given for women passage by the solicitors were-Menstruation isn’t debased, and that women ought to have equivalent rights to enter the Sabarimala Temple. This analysis guarantees that we can’t consider women are unclean dependent on period and it is sex segregation. The Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan, said that his gathering (Left Democratic Front) has consistently upheld sex equity and we give offices and insurance to women.[10] This training additionally disregards Article 14 (Equality under the watchful eye of Law) of the Indian Constitution as separation based on a particular age gathering of women isn’t sensible segregation. 

    Indira Jaisingh, senior counsel, claimed that the prohibition of female entry is a form of untouchability. Menstruation by women is the primary source of the ban. A type of untouchability is to keep menstruating females away.  Menstruating women are assumed to be polluted. It was also argued that the ban on women ‘s entry into the temple of Sabarimala was not compatible with the religious activities carried out there. There is simply no doubt of it being the core of the said religious denomination. Regarding the temple being a separate religious denomination it was argued by the petitioners that for the purposes of Article 26, it was argued that the Temple of Lord Ayyappa was not a different religious denomination since the religious rituals conducted in the Temple of Sabarimala at the time of ‘Puja and other religious ceremonies are not separate and are identical to any other practise performed in any Hindu Temple.

    Article 15 arrangements with “prohibition on the ground of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth”. Here, this training includes infringement of Article 15 as segregation to enter the temple depended on ‘sex’. 

    Article 25 arrangements with “freedom of conscience and free profession, propagation and practices of religion”. Here, this training includes infringement of Article 25 as it keeps women from opportunity for training of religion. 

    Article 26 arrangements with “freedom to manage religious affairs”. Here, this training obviously disregards the arrangement of Article 26. 

        -Submissions against women’s entry were as follows- 

    Speaking for the Nair Service Society, senior promoter Mr. K. Parasaran excused contentions relating to man centric outlooks being an explanation behind the limitation on women’s entrance in Sabarimala temple. He called attention to the fact that Kerala follows a matrilineal framework. In this way, it is mistaken to accept the training identified with Sabarimala as one that depends on patriarchy. He additionally expressed that the women of the state are known for being knowledgeable, socially forward and autonomous in their parts as leaders. Alluding to the managing god Lord Ayyappa as a Naishtika Bramhachari, he called attention to that it is the abstinent idea of the divinity that frames the premise of the training and not sexism or misogyny. 

    It was also put forward that Article 15 of the Constitution doesn’t have any significant bearing to strict organizations and Article 25(2) relates to just mainstream viewpoints and it is just relating to social issues, not sex or strict based issues. Specifically, the senior lawyer likewise called attention to that Article 15(2) furnishes residents with the option to admittance to spots, for example, inns, shops, etc., however no place does it notice public temples. He asked the SC bench to consider the god’s remarkable nature while delving into the subtleties of the protected legitimacy of the temple practice.

    Advocate J. Sai Deepak brought up that the petitioner’s position experiences a grave blunder as it neglects to recognize variety in strict conventions and separation and that the petitioner has transformed a conversation on the god’s abstinence into supposed ideas of pollutant related with menstruation. He further presented that the standards of Brahmacharya when it is seen by women fans, likewise expects them to keep away from all contact with men. He further expressed in the composed accommodation that the act of Naishtika Brahmacharya has been given a sexist tone in an outlandish, oblivious and incredibly devilish way. 

    Another contention was that the Hindu religion has consistently maintained the privilege to equity and he referred to the case of Lord Shiva being revered as ‘Ardhanarishwara’ which exemplifies half-male and half-female. [11]

    It has also been believed that there is no breach of Articles 15, 25 and 26 of the Indian Constitution, because the restriction applies only to women of a certain age group and not to women as a class. If the practise of limiting the entry of women is practised as a class for women, then only the above-mentioned Articles of the Indian Constitution will be violated. According to this claim, the terms of the Kerala Hindu Place of Public Worship Act , 1965, also support this restriction.

    Religion has transformed into various arrangements in present day social orders and thus we need more all encompassing ways to deal with fathom its complexities. The reasonability of any religion or a specific ceremony is generally decided and spread by the male chiefs and individuals in the gathering. So as to propagate their control, they will in general devise customs, frequently by the untrustworthy translation of conventional writings, which thus brings about the subjection of women. 

    Justice Malhotra sets a hazardous point of reference by expressing that courts ought not dig into the sanity of strict practices. One ought not overlook that in the event that it were not for the legal executive’s activism, the inflexible cultural structures would have still clawed on to the unyielding universality. An essential of this judgment, be that as it may, would have been to discover approaches to sharpen the network and accumulate uphold from people similarly

    Judgment

    The solitary lady on the bench, Justice Indu Malhotra, contradicted. She in her solitary contradiction, held that issues of profound strict slants ought not be customarily be meddled by the Court. The Court ought not hinder this issue except if there is any angry individual from that part or religion. The thought of sanity ought not be found in strict issues. She likewise held that altar and the god are ensured by Article 25 of the Indian Constitution. 

    Justice Dipak Misra, Justice R F Nariman, Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice D Y Chandrachud established the majority party. 

    Chief Justice of India Hon’ble Dipak Misra while perusing out segments of the judgment composed for himself and Justice A M Khanwilkar said that women are not lesser or mediocre compared to men. Strict male controlled society can’t be permitted to win over conviction. Natural reasons, (for example, monthly cycles) can not be acknowledged in an opportunity for confidence. Religion is fundamentally a lifestyle.

    The different, however agreeing assessment of Justice Nariman held that “Anything ruinous of independence is behind the times of Constitutionality. To regard women as individuals of lower status squints at the Constitution itself”. It was held that Ayyappas don’t establish a different strict section of religious denomination.

    Justice Chandrachud as he would see it held that the thought behind the boycott was that the presence of women will upset virginity, and that was setting the weight of men’s virginity on women. This derides and generalizes women, he concluded.

    Held- The Apex Court ruled that the practise of prohibiting women from entering Sabarimala Temple from a particular age group in their ‘menstruating years’ is unconstitutional. 

    Present Case Status: Appeal requests have been filed questioning the pending judgement.

    Opportunities identified with religion are basic components for the working of the majority rules system in a nation like India. As we probably are aware, Constitutional standards and Social truth are totally different from one another however it is likewise important to decrease the distinctions however much as could reasonably be expected for the smooth and legitimate working of society. On account of ‘Indian Young Lawyers Association versus Province of Kerala and Ors’, Apex Court has attempted to overcome any barrier between protected goals and social reality.

    References

    [1] Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum, AIR 945, 1985 SCR (3) 844.

    [2] Dr Noorjehan Safia Niaz v. Province Of Maharashtra and Ors., AIR  2016 Bom 5394.

    [3] Aparajita Balaji, “Indian Young Lawyers Association & Ors. vs. The State of Kerala & Ors.- case analysis” Law Times Journal, ( March 24, 2019), available at http://lawtimesjournal.in/indian-young-lawyers-association-ors-vs-the-state-of-kerala-ors/ ( last visited on 8 November 2020).

    [4] Id.

    [5] Supra note 3.

    [6] Id.

    [7] George A. Theoderson, A modern dictionary of Sociology ( Ty Crowell Co, January 1, 1855).

    [8] Id.

    [9] Fitzgerald, P.J., M.A., Salmond on Jurisprudence, 190 (N. M. Tripathi Pvt. Ltd., Bombay, 1997).

    [10] Supra note 3.

    [11] Raveesh BN. “Ardhanareeshwara concept: Brain and psychiatry”, Indian J Psychiatry 55 (2013).


    BY KAREN BOBBY | CHRIST UNIVERSITY

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