07/11/2016 4:26 PM IST | Updated 07/11/2016 4:35 PM IST

Kerala Govt Favours Entry Of Women In Sanctum Sanctorum Of Sabarimala Temple

Defending the ban, the Sabarimala Temple administration said the tradition is connected to essential religious practices.

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TRIVANDRUM -- Kerala Government on Monday told the Supreme Court that it is ready to allow women inside the sanctum sanctorum of Sabarimala Temple.

The next hearing in this matter is scheduled to be held on 20 February, 2017.

This was the first hearing after the Supreme Court changed the bench hearing a decade-old petition against the restriction on women aged between 10 and 50 from entering the temple.

Earlier, a three-judge Bench led by Justice Dipak Misra and included Justices Gopala V. Gowda and Kurian Joseph, was replaced by Justices C. Nagappan and R. Banumathi on 11 July.

A total of 10 Supreme Court judges, sitting in various combinations, have already heard the case in as many years since it was first filed in 2006.

Earlier, the Bombay High Court had directed the Maharashtra Government to ensure that women are not denied entry to the temple.

Defending the ban, the Sabarimala Temple administration said the tradition is connected to essential religious practices.

Supporting them, the Kerala Government told the court that beliefs and customs of devotees cannot be changed through a judicial process and that the opinion of the priests is final in matters of religion.

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