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Bombay HC allows women’s entry into Haji Ali inner sanctum

New Delhi, August 26 (Online): Women have the right to enter the inner sanctum of Haji Ali dargah, Bombay high court ruled on Friday.

The court said the ban violated women’s fundamental rights and asked the state to ensure protection for female devotees, granting the trust six weeks to implement the order, Indian media reported.

A bench of justice VM Kanade and Revati Mohite-Dere said the ban was against Article 14 (equality before law), Article 15 (no discrimination on sex, gender, religion etc) and Article 21 (right to life and liberty) of the Constitution.

The court directed the Haji Ali trust to grant access inside the shrine to “women at par with men” but the latter indicated it will appeal the verdict in the Supreme Court.

The decision came on a petition by a Muslim women’s foundation that asked the court to restore the shrine’s regulations to 2012, when women were allowed into the sanctum albeit through separate queues and at restricted timings.