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Kerala Government informs Supreme Court it will Allow the Entry of Women of all Age Groups into Sabarimala Temple

The change in decision comes only days ahead of the beginning of the ‘Makaravillaku’ pilgrimage-season and the 3 months long ‘Mandala’ puja at the temple on 15th November

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Rush at the Temple. Wikimedia commons.
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New Delhi, November 8, 2016: The Supreme Court was informed by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government of Kerala on Monday that it will allow the entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala Temple- a decision that effectively changes the state’s position on the concerning issue.

The U-turn made by the Kerala Government appears just months after the filing of the additional affidavit in the Supreme Court on July, which supported the ban on women’s entry into the sacred shrine.

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A Supreme Court bench comprising Justices R Banumathi, Dipak Misra, and Ashok Bhushan stated on Monday, “On being asked as to what is the stand of the state, senior advocate Gupta states that the state intends to place reliance on its original affidavit (2007) and not on additional affidavit…women of any age group should not be debarred from entry into the temple to worship the deity.” The Supreme Court bench said that the next hearing is scheduled to take place on 13th February, 2017.

On 2007, the LDF government was in favor of allowing the women into the temple. But the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) that took over from LDF gave a contrary opinion citing the traditions of the temple.

Senior advocate K K Venugopal, the representative of the Travancore Devaswam Board that manages the Sabarimala temple, stated to the bench that the state government could not afford to alter its decision according to its convenience.

The change in decision comes only days ahead of the beginning of the ‘Makaravillaku’ pilgrimage-season and the 3 months long ‘Mandala’ puja at the temple on 15th November.

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During the popular festival, nearly 4-crore devotees throng to the holy temple that is dedicated to lord Ayyappa.

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Lord Ayyappa. Flickr

The Supreme Court has stated on 11th July that it may refer the concerned issue to a five-judge constitution bench. The issue is the centuries-old tradition of barring the women between 10-50 years of age, from entering the temple.

The apex Court observed the fact that women are conferred rights under the Constitution and it would like to pass a detailed order in case the issue is referred to a constitution bench. The court remarked, “A temple is a public religious place. You cannot refuse entry to a woman who comes there … It violates the rights of women. We understand the seriousness of the issue. Every right needs to be balanced but every balancing has its own limitations…”

The apex Court had earlier raised a question on the ban on the entry of women into the Sabarimala temple, saying that it would test if ‘faith and belief’ could differentiate among people of the same denomination.

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The management of the holy temple, located on the top of a hill in the Western Ghats of Pathanamthitta district, had earlier informed the court that the ban on the entry of the women existed due to their inability to maintain “purity” while menstruating.

prepared by NewsGram team with PTI inputs

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Google Along with Other SSocial Media Giants will Face The Lawmakers, Wikimedia Commons
Google Along with Other SSocial Media Giants will Face The Lawmakers, Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

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Google was yet to comment on the new development.

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On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?