Haji Ali Agrees to Give Women Full Access
Mumbai’s Haji Ali Trust has told the Supreme Court that it will allow women to enter its inner sanctum sanctorum and requested for four weeks to implement the requisite infrastructural changes.
A bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices D Y Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao granted Haji Ali its requested time. The bench also disposed of the Trust’s appeal against the Bombay High Court’s August 26 ruling in which it granted women and men equal access to the shrine.
Founders of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), Noorjehan Fiaz and Zakia Soman, had petitioned the Bombay High Court against the ban earlier this year, calling it unconstitutional.
“Women will be treated at par with men,” the Haji Ali Trust told the Supreme Court.
The apex court had expressed hope that the Trust would ‘take a stand which is progressive’.
The bench had also remarked that “if you are not allowing both men and women to go beyond a point, there is no problem. But if you are allowing some to go beyond a point while others are not, it is a problem”
The Trust’s news is a relief, and hopefully this case will inspire other religious institutions to grant women and men equal access to their spaces.