New Delhi: The Congress on Friday welcomed the Supreme Court’s landmark judgment in which it lifted the ban on women’s entry to Ayyappa’s Sabarimala temple. The grand old party called the judgment as progressive and said that there could be no discrimination to worship on the basis of gender. Also Read - SC Asks Centre, J&K to Reply on Plea for Restoration of 4G Services Amid Covid-19 Crisis

“There can be no discrimination to worship on the basis of gender or otherwise. A welcome and progressive move towards gender equality by Supreme Court in Sabarimala. As society evolves, so should our religious beliefs and laws,” Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted. Also Read - Supreme Court's Order on Free COVID-19 Tests Got Health And Business Experts Worrying, Know Why

In the series of tweets, he further tweeted, “We wholeheartedly welcome this progressive and far-reaching decision in case of entry into SabrimalaTemple. Supreme Court decision has given a fresh expression to the rights of women and how they cannot be subjugated to any religious practice, no matter how sacred.” His remarks came soon after the Supreme Court delivered its verdict saying that it was violative of women’s’ fundamental rights and constitutional guarantees.

In a majority 4:1 judgment, the top court also read down the provision of Kerala laws that protected the prohibition and said it could not be covered under practices essential and integral to religious practice.

Reading out the judgment, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said, “Women are worshipped as goddesses in India and no biological factor can be given legitimacy if it can’t pass the test of conditionality.”

While pronouncing the judgment, CJI Dipak Misra said that the ban in place violated constitutional principles and that women’s rights cannot be subverted as they are in no way less than men.

The case pertained to the pleas of Indian Young Lawyers Association and others challenging the ban on entry of women aged 10-50 years into Kerala’s Sabarimala temple.

A group of five women lawyers has challenged Rule 3(b) of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules, 1965, which authorises restriction on women “of menstruating age”. They moved the apex court after the Kerala HC upheld the centuries-old restriction, and ruled that only the “tantri (priest)” was empowered to decide on traditions.