Haji Ali verdict: Petitioner says SC will give fitting drubbing to patriarchs

Kochi (Kerala) [India]: After the Supreme Court extended the stay on entry of women in the inner sanctum of Haji Ali Dargah till October 17, petitioner Zakia Soman today expressed confidence in the apex court and said that it would give a fitting drubbing to the patriarchs.

Noorjehan Fiaz and Zakia Soman, founders of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), had filed a petition against the ban in the Bombay High Court while calling it unconstitutional.

“We got justice from the Bombay High Court in our petition seeking women’s entry into the mazhar (sanctum) of Haji Ali Dargah and it was a historic judgment. It has restored the wrong being done to women in name of religion and for us, it was a very big win,” Soman told ANI,

“And not just for the Muslim women, but it is a big win for Indian women cutting across all faith. Now that the trust has decided to approach the Supreme Court, I am confident that we will get justice in the Supreme Court,” she added.

The apex court will hear the matter next on October 17.

The top court pronounced the order while hearing the appeal filed by the Haji Ali Dargah Trust, challenging the Bombay High Court’s verdict allowing women in the inner sanctum of the dargah.

On August 26, the Bombay High Court lifted the ban imposed on women from entering the inner sanctum of Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai.

The 2011 ban violates the women’s right to freedom of religion enshrined in Article 25 of the constitution.

The PIL stated that gender justice is inherent in the Quran and there is no prohibition on women visiting graves.

Prior to 2011, the dargah did not discriminate against women and allowed free entry of people across religions. On March 2011, the dargah’s board of trustees imposed a ban on women’s entry, calling it a “grievous sin”.

On July 10, 2015, a bench headed by Justice V.M. Kanade set aside previous order framing eight questions by an earlier bench of the High Court on maintainability and decided to hear the PIL on merits. (ANI)