Allow women in Nizamuddin dargah sanctum, says petition

A petition has been moved before the Delhi High Court seeking entry of women into the sanctum sanctorum of the Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia Dargah here. The move comes two months after the Supreme Court lifted the centuries-old practice of prohibiting women from entering the Sabarimala temple in Kerala. Plea by law students A High Court Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V.K. Rao sought the reply of the Centre, the city government and the police on the petition filed in public interest by three women, who are studying law. The Bench also sought a response from the trust managing the dargah before the next date of hearing in April 11, 2019. The petition has claimed that there is a notice outside the dargah — a shrine built over the grave of a religious figure — clearly stating in English and Hindi that women are not allowed inside. The notice board at the dargah reads ‘ Auraton ka andar jaana mana hai’ , which is also written in English — ‘Ladies are not allowed inside’. “While the entire nation is professing and advocating the entry of women in all religious institutions without discrimination and the same having been further allowed and promoted by the Supreme Court in the recent Sabarimala judgment, women in the heart of the country — the national capital — are being discriminated against with their entry into the dargah of the Hazrat Nizamuddin, that is just 15 minutes away from the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court,” the plea said. The conception of the petition began with the three women going to Hazrat Nizamuddin Ali dargah to pay homage and offer a chaadar at the shrine on November 27, 2018, when they were prohibited from entering the dargah. They were also not allowed to offer chaadar and flowers, and perform rituals. ‘Public place’ It was contended by the petitioners that 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. The law students claimed that they made several representations to authorities, including the Delhi Police, but did not get any response. Women allowed There are many dargahs in other States which do not prohibit the entry of women, including Ajmer Sharif dargah in Rajasthan and Haji Ali dargah in Maharashtra.

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