New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to respond on a plea seeking entry of Muslim women into mosques in order to offer prayers.
A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice SA Bobde and Justice S Abdul Nazeer granting a week more time to the Centre, National Commission for Women (NCW), Central Waqf Council, and All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), posted the matter for hearing on November 5.
Earlier, on April 16 the apex court had admitted the plea of a Pune-based Muslim couple asking to lift the prohibition on entry of Muslim women inside mosques.
It had issued notice to the parties and sought their response.
The court had said it will hear the plea only because of its judgment in Sabarimala temple.
On September 28 last year, the Supreme Court had lifted the ban on the entry of women aged between 10 and 50 years into the premises of Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala, Kerala.
The petition filed before the top court also sought direction to declare the prohibition on entry of Muslim women into mosques in the country as "illegal and unconstitutional" because it violates the fundamental rights of women.
The petitioner's counsel has contended that "A mosque is not an individual person. There are no records stating that the Holy Quran and Prophet Muhammad had opposed women entering mosques and offering prayers...Like men, women also have the constitutional rights to offer worship according to their belief."
The plea stated, "At present, women are allowed to offer prayers at mosques under Jamaat-e-Islami and Mujahid denominations, while they are barred from mosques under the predominant Sunni faction.
The petitioner citing the Sabarimala judgement stated, This Court in the case of Sabarimala held that "religion cannot be used as cover to deny rights of worship to women and it is also against human dignity. Prohibition on women is due to non-religious reasons and it is a grim shadow of discrimination going on for centuries.''