Bombay HC verdict is victory of rights, authority of women: Trupti Desai

Pune (Maharashtra) [India], Aug. 26 : Hailing the Bombay High Court's verdict that allowed women to enter the inner sanctum of Haji Ali Dargah as "a victory of the rights and authority of women", Bhumata Brigade founder Trupti Desai on Friday described it as a historic for women, adding that from now on, women should be respectfully allowed to enter the shrine.

Desai told ANI, "We welcome the verdict passed by the High Court on Haji Ali Dargah as it a victory of rights and authority of women.

It is one historic decision and who so ever are against it can go to the Supreme Court and can ever protest as everybody has rights in a democracy." "As the verdict is in favor of women and we feel that it should be welcomed.

In Haji Ali Dargah women should be respectfully allowed to enter into the inner sanctum and on Sunday Bhumata Ranragini Brigade women members will respectfully enter the inner shrine," Desai added.

Desai said trustees of the Haji Ali Dargah should also welcome this judgement, and if they wish to go and appeal before the Supreme Court, then they can, and nobody would stop them.

"But according to the verdict that we have received and by the time the fresh appeal will be registered with the Supreme Court, we will visit the Dargah before that on Sunday," Desai said.

On Friday, the Bombay High Court allowed women entry into the inner sanctum of the Haji Ali Dargah. A two-judge division bench of the high court, comprising of Justice V M Kanade AMD and Justice Revati Mohite Dhere said, "State to give necessary protection to the respondents." Divulging the details of the judgment, Raju More, the petitioner lawyer, said, "Today, the Bombay High Court has given its reserved judgment and set aside the ban which was imposed on the entry of women and they have restored the status quo 'anti', that means earlier position when women were allowed has been restored." "It has been held that the ban violates Article 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution and, therefore, the ban has been set aside.

The high court has taken the view that the ban is unconstitutional," he added. The lawyer further said that after the pronouncement of the judgment, the Haji Ali Trust said that they wish to go to the Supreme Court and want an eight-week stay.

"I opposed it. I said that since its a restoration of the earlier position, there is no need to grant stay. But the high court felt and rightly so that this is an important constitutional issue and, therefore, they have granted six weeks stay on the operation of the order," he said.

Therefore, the women will not be allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the dargah for the next six weeks.

The ban was imposed in 2012 by the Haji Ali Dargah Trust citing some religious traditions as the reason.

The PIL was filed by women activists Noorjehan Niaz and Zakia Soman and the NGO Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan.

Source: ANI