Delhi HC seeks Centre, AAP govt's reply to PIL for entry of women into Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah; next hearing on 11 April

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday sought response of the Centre, the AAP government and police on a PIL seeking entry of women into the sanctum sanctorum of the Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia Dargah in Delhi.

Apart from the Centre, the Delhi government and police, a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice VK Rao also issued notice to the trust managing the 'dargah' (shrine) and sought their stand on the plea by 11 April, 2019. The court was hearing a plea by three women law students, who have claimed that the dargah here does not permit entry of women into the shrine.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The petition, filed through advocate Kamlesh Kumar Mishra, has claimed that there is a notice put up 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 law students, in their petition, have contended that they made several representations to authorities, including the Delhi Police, but no response was received and therefore, they moved the high court. The plea has sought directions to the Centre, the Delhi government, police and the trust managing the shrine, to frame guidelines for ensuring entry of women into the dargah and declare the bar on entry of women as "unconstitutional".

The petitioners, who are law students from Pune, have contended that when the Supreme Court has allowed women of all ages into the Sabarimala shrine in Kerala, women in the heart of the national capital were being discriminated against. According to the petition, the law students came to know of the bar on women's entry at the dargah when they visited the shrine on 27 November to offer prayers.

"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 of India," the PIL said. It also said that various other shrines like the Ajmer Sharif Dargah and the Haji Ali Dargah do not prohibit entry of women.

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Updated Date: Dec 10, 2018 12:35:42 IST

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