03/10/2016 6:15 PM IST | Updated 10/10/2016 7:54 PM IST

Haji Ali Trust Moves SC Against Bombay HC Order Allowing Entry To Women

Bombay High Court had lifted the ban in August.

Anuruddha Lokuhapuarachchi / Reuters
Fishermen push a small boat through a lagoon after catching fish near the Haji Ali Mosque in Mumbai, December 29, 2006. REUTERS/Anuruddha Lokuhapuarachchi (INDIA)

Haji Ali Dargah Trust has approached the Supreme Court, challenging the Bombay High Court, which had allowed women in the internal portion of the dargah.

On 26 August, the Bombay High Court lifted the ban imposed on women from entering the inner sanctum of Mumbai's Haji Ali Dargah.

Noorjehan Fiaz and Zakia Soman, founders of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), had petitioned the Bombay High Court against the ban calling it unconstitutional. The 2011 ban violates the women's right to freedom of religion enshrined in Article 25 of the Constitution. The PIL stated that gender justice is inherent in the Quran, and there is no prohibition on women visiting graves.

Prior to 2011, the dargah did not discriminate against women and allowed free entry of people across religions. On March 2011, the Dargah's board of trustees imposed a ban on women's entry, calling it a "grievous sin". It is a sin as per Islam for women to be in close proximity of a male Muslim saint's grave.

On 10 July 2015, a bench headed by Justice VM Kanade sets aside previous order framing eight questions by an earlier bench of HC on maintainability and decided to hear PIL on merits.

Earlier this year, Muslim women across Mumbai staged protests to lift the ban against women's entry in the dargah. They demanded that women should be allowed to pray in the sanctum of the famous shrine, but the clerics called their demands "un-Islamic".

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