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HC to study Sabarimala case before Haji Ali verdict

The High Court Bench is likely to announce the verdict on June 28

The Bombay High Court yesterday said it would pronounce judgment in the case of women’s entry in Haji Ali Dargah on June 28. The court also asked the petitioners to file a status report of a similar case regarding Kerala’s Sabarimala Temple going on in the Supreme Court.

“Though the Sabarimala and Shani Shingnapur cases are different since they come under Hindu Act and Haji Ali matter under Islamic act, we want to study both the cases as they are about the entry of women in sanctum sanctorum of the religious places,” said Justice V M Kanade, who was presiding over the case with Justice Revati Mohite-Dere. “We are preparing the judgment and will pronounce it on June 28 in any case,” Kanade added. The HC had already allowed women to enter Shani Shingnapur temple in February.

The HC had reserved its judgment in the case on February 29, while it was waiting for the SC verdict in the temple matter. Rajeev More, senior counsel who appeared for petitioner Dr Noor Jehan Safia Niaz, said the SC was yet to deliver a judgment in the Sabarimala case.

The case
The petition was filed in the Bombay HC in August 2014 demanding women’s entry in the sanctum sanctorum of the Sufi Saint Haji Ali’s tomb. The HC had then asked both the parties to solve the issue amicably but the tomb’s trust refused saying that entry of girls who have achieved puberty was a grievous sin.

While the Haji Ali Trust had cited Article 26 of the Constitution to support their claims, the petitioners argued saying that when Mahim Dargah doesn’t stop women, even Haji Ali shouldn’t. The petitioners also said that the Hadees say women should be granted entry in to religious places.

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