New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has issued notices to the Central government, Delhi government and the Dargah trust to respond to the plea seeking entry of women into the sanctum sanctorum of Nizamuddin Dargah. The high court also said that it was awaiting the Sabarimala review verdict before hearing the case any further, reported ANI on Monday. (Also read: Sabarimala Review Committee Happy With Arrangements) Also Read - Coronavirus Outbreak: Centre Asks Employees to Work From Home, Staggered Hours Till April 4
A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice VK Rao has also sought the Dargah Trust’s stand on the plea by April 11 next year. The plea was filed by three women law students who claimed that the dargah did not permit entry of women into the shrine. Also Read - Nirbhaya Convict Moves HC Against Trial Court Order, Claims Not in Delhi At Time of Incident
The petition claimed that there was a notice outside the ‘dargah’ stating in English and Hindi that women were not allowed inside. The petitioners contended that they had made several representations to authorities, including the Delhi Police, but did not get a response so they moved the high court. Also Read - Sabarimala Case: Questions of Law Can be Referred to Larger Bench For Review, Says Supreme Court
The plea had sought directions to the Centre, the Delhi government, police and the Dargah trust, to frame guidelines for ensuring entry of women into the dargah and declare the bar on entry of women as “unconstitutional”.
The petitioners, all law students from Pune, contended that when the Supreme Court had allowed women of all ages into the Sabarimala shrine in Kerala, women in the heart of the national capital were being discriminated against.
According to the petition, the law students came to know of the bar on women’s entry at the dargah when they visited the shrine on November 27 to offer prayers. “Nizamuddin Dargah by its very nature is a public place and prohibition of entry of anyone in a public place on the basis of gender is contrary to the framework of the Constitution of India,” the PIL said.
It also said that various other shrines, like the Ajmer Sharif Dargah and the Haji Ali Dargah, do not prohibit entry of women.