Based on a petition filed by a Pune residing couple on the entry of Muslim women, the Supreme Court has issued notices to the Centre, National Commission for Women, Central Waqf Council and All India Muslim Personal Law Board on Tuesday.
While the SC bench was not satisfied with the petitioner’s counsel, the Muslim couple had filed in their petition that, “there is nothing in Quran and the Hadith that requires gender segregation”.
The petition also stated, “The act of prohibition of females from entering Mosque is void and unconstitutional as such practices are not only repugnant to the basic dignity of a woman as an individual but also violative of the fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 15, 21 and 25 of the Constitution.”
The Supreme Court bench of Justices S A Bobde and S Abdul Nazeer said, “We are only hearing you because of the Sabrimala judgement. But the provision for Right to Equality under the Constitution can only be invoked against the state and not against an individual who is inside a mosque.”
However, the petition countered women in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, US, UK and Singapore are allowed to enter mosque in their countries.
While the court questioned, is a mosque or a church or temple, a state.
The SC bench went one step further when said, “Can you invoke Article 14 and claim equality of treatment from another citizen. Can it be invoked against non-state actors? We can understand that state has to ensure equality. State cannot deny it.”
The petition was filed by the Muslim couple Yasmin Zuber Ahmad Peerzade and her husband Zuber Ahmad Nazir Ahmad Peerzade and had cited the Sabrimala judgement in reference in the petition.