Sat, Dec 3, 2016 | updated 05:04 PM IST

AIMIM to move to SC against Bombay HC verdict on allowing women entry to Haji Ali

Updated: Aug 26, 2016 12:45 IST

Mumbai [India], Aug. 26 (ANI): All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Haji Rafat Hussain on Friday said the Bombay High Court to allow women to enter the inner sanctum of the city's famed Haji Ali Dargah can disturb the environment.

He said the high court should not have interfered in a religious matter, but as it had done so, he would now approach the Supreme Court.

"It shouldn't have been done, even Islam do not allow entry of women. What was the haste on this matter when the issue of the Babri Masjid is a long pending one? The court should have thought on it cautiously as Islam does not allow the entry of women in a dargah or a cemetery. This can disturb the environment," Hussain told ANI here.

"Since the BJP has come to power, they are doing something or the other which is hurting the Muslim community. The thing that is going on for 1400-1500 years is now being disturbed. The entry of women is allowed, but up to a certain limit, and if she goes beyond it, then she looks naked as per Islam," he added.

In a landmark verdict, the Bombay High Court today allowed women entry into the inner sanctum of Haji Ali Dargah.

A two-judge division bench of the high court, comprising of Justice V M Kanade AMD and Justice Revati Mohite Dhere said, "State to give necessary protection to the respondents."

Divulging the details of the judgment, Raju More, the petitioner lawyer, said, "Today, the Bombay High Court has given its reserved judgment and set aside the ban which was imposed on the entry of women and they have restored the status quo 'anti', that means earlier position when women were allowed has been restored."

"It has been held that the ban violates Article 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution and, therefore, the ban has been set aside. The high court has taken the view that the ban is unconstitutional," he added.

The lawyer further said that after the pronouncement of the judgment, the Haji Ali Trust said that they wish to go to the Supreme Court and want an eight-week stay.

"I opposed it. I said that since its a restoration of the earlier position, there is no need to grant stay. But the high court felt and rightly so that this is an important constitutional issue and, therefore, they have granted six weeks stay on the operation of the order," he said.

Therefore, the women will not be allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the dargah for the next six weeks.

The ban was imposed in 2012 by the Haji Ali Dargah Trust citing some religious traditions as the reason.

The PIL was filed by women activists Noorjehan Niaz and Zakia Soman and the NGO Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan.

The Haji Ali Trust, as the respondent in the case, defended the ban saying that the entry of women in close proximity to the tomb of a male saint would be seen as a grievous sin in Islam.

The Maharashtra government had in February told the Bombay High Court that unless the Dargah Board is able to prove that the ban is a part of their religious practice with reference to the Quran, women should be allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum of Haji Ali.

The trust had claimed that separate arrangements have been made for women to walk up to a certain point from where they can offer prayers, but are not permitted to touch the tomb of a male saint as it is a sin in Islam. (ANI)