The Delhi High Court today i.e., December 10, 2018, issued a notice to the Centre and the Delhi government on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking permission for women’s entry inside the sanctum sanctorum of Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah.
The petition seeks to declare the prohibition of women from entering the Nizamuddin Dargah unconstitutional and to frame guidelines in this regard. The matter was listed for hearing before a Division Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon
and JusticeV. Kameswar Rao
The PIL moved by three female law students after they were refused entry into the sanctum sanctorum
of the shrine in Delhi. Filed through Advocate Kamlesh Kumar Misra, the plea argues that restricting women’s entry into the Dargah is in violation of Articles 14, 15
of the Constitution of India
. “Because the Nizamuddin Ali Darghah Trust is a public charitable trust. It is open to people all over the world, irrespective of their caste, creed or sex, etc. The respondent No. 3 i.e Trust has no right to discriminate entry of women into a public place of worship under the guise of `managing the affairs of religion’ under Article 26
and as such, the State will have to ensure protection of rights of all its citizens guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution, including Articles 14 and 15, to protect against discrimination based on gender. Infact, the right to manage the Trust cannot override the right to practice religion itself, as Article 26 cannot be seen to abridge or abrogate the right guaranteed under Article 25 of the Constitution,” the plea states. It is thus prayed that a direction be issued to immediately remove the signage/display boards inside or nearby the Nizamuddin Dargah announcing the prohibition of entry of women. The matter has been posted for further hearing on April 11, 2019.