Bombay High Court to Deliver Order on Women's Entry to Mumbai's Haji Ali Dargah: 10 Developments

Bombay High Court to Deliver Order on Women's Entry to Mumbai's Haji Ali Dargah: 10 Developments

The landmark Haji Ali shrine in Worli. (Agence France-Presse)

Mumbai:
  1. The landmark shrine in Worli, which dates back to the 15th century, had put in place the ban on March 2011 and June 2012 the petitioners argue.
  2. The petition argues it is a case of gender discrimination and a "failure of the state to eliminate inequalities".
  3. The PIL was filed by activists Noorjehan Niaz and Zakia Soman of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan in 2014.
  4. The petitioners said since childhood, they had been allowed "unimpeded access" to the sanctum, but now, a barricade has been placed there.
  5. "If such arbitrary actions of the Trust are not restrained, it is not inconceivable that in the future, there may be an order banning the entry of women in the Dargah complex, and non-Muslims wholly," the petition read.
  6. The inner sanctum of the Dargah houses the tomb of the saint Haji Ali or Sayyed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, who gave up all his worldly possessions before making a pilgrimage to Mecca.
  7. The petitioners have argued that they had conducted a survey, which shows in 12 out of 19 dargahs in Mumbai, women are allowed into the sanctum.
  8. Counsel for the trust Shoib Memon has argued that in Islam it is considered a sin for women to come close to the tomb.
  9. The trust's lawyer argued that in one of its judgments, the Supreme Court had said that in matters concerning religion, courts should not interfere. The trust has also told the court that women have been permitted to see the tomb from a distance and offer prayers.
  10. The shrine of Haji Ali, located in the sea in south Mumbai, attracts millions of visitors every year.
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