In response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking entry of women into the sanctum sanctorum of the Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah in the city, the Delhi High Court on Monday sought a response from the Centre, the AAP government in the state and the police
Apart from the Centre, the Delhi government and police, a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao also issued a notice to the trust managing the dargah (shrine) and sought their stand on the plea by April 11, 2019.
The court was hearing a plea by three women law students, who claimed that the dargah does not permit entry of women into the shrine.
The petition, filed through advocate Kamlesh Kumar Mishra, has claimed that there is a notice put up outside the dargah -- a shrine built over the grave of a religious figure -- clearly stating in English and Hindi that women are not allowed inside.
Earlier in September, the Supreme Court had ruled that women of all ages can enter the revered Sabarimala temple in Kerala triggering a confrontation between the Aiyappa devotees and the Kerala government which backed the verdict and sought to implement it. So far, no women of menstruating age have been allowed to enter the temple.
On a similar plea in 2016, the Bombay High Court in a landmark verdict struck down the ban on women’s entry into the Haji Ali Dargah’s inner sanctum and ruled that women be granted access to the Dargah "at par with men".
The court had noted that aims, objectives and activities of the Haji Ali Dargah Trust were not governed by any custom or tradition and held that it was a public charitable trust and hence, open to people all over the world, irrespective of their caste, creed or gender.
The Trust had moved the apex court challenging the High Court order lifting ban on women from entering the sanctum sanctorum of the Muslim shrine in South Mumbai.
Later the Dargah Trust told the Supreme Court that it will comply with the High Court order and granted access to women near the sanctum sanctorum of the historic shrine like men.