The orthodox outlook of Haji Ali Dargah has finally ended. The struggle of Muslim women is successful as the Dargah allowing the access of women into the sanctum sanctorum. The Dargah Trust on Monday said the Supreme Court that they will allow women to enter the Dargah right up to the saint’s tomb.
Haji Ali Dargah Trust challenged the Bombay High Court verdict on women’s access into the shrine. The Dargah Trust told the SC that it will allow women to the sanctum sanctorum but it sought four weeks to change the required infrastructure. It informed the SC that “it does not want to take an adversarial position on the issue and wants time to resolve the matter”.
A three-bench judge comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices L Nageswara Rao and D Y Chandrachud approved the required time and it rejected the Trust’s appeal against Bombay High Court’s verdict.
Earlier, the SC told that it had hope that the shrine which challenged the high court “will take a stand which is progressive”.
The bench stated, “If you are not allowing both men and women to go beyond a point, there is no problem. But if you are allowing some to go beyond a point while others are not, it is a problem.”
The high court claimed that the Trust had no right to change the manner of religious practices of any individual or group. The Trust on the other side gave its justification that the ban on women was imposed due to the safety of women.
A counsel appearing for a women’s group has challenged the Trust practice of not to allow women had submitted the situation was different before 2011 than what it is today.
The Trust then challenged the high court order and moved to the apex court. On August 26, the high court gave verdict that the ban imposed by the Trust infringed Article 14, 15 and 25 of the Constitution and said that women should be enter the shrine like men.
Noorjehan Niaz and Zakia Soman from NGO Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan had filed a PIL at the high court and the court had approve it. The women challenged the ban on women’s entry into the sanctum sanctorum from 2012. They launched the movement named ‘Haji Ali For All’.
The court observed that any custom and tradition did not govern the aims, activities and objectives of the Haji Ali Dargah Trust. It said that it was a public charitable trust so the place is for all people of the whole world irrespective of cast, creed and gender.