The Kerala government on Monday told the Supreme Court it was ready to allow women of all ages to enter Sabarimala temple. Women aged between 10 and 50 are not allowed in the temple, because the deity is believed to be a celibate, according to traditions.  Earlier, the Kerala government had told the apex court that beliefs of the devotees cannot be changed through a legal process and it was a matter of religion.

“On being asked as to what is the stand of the state, senior advocate Gupta states that the state intends to place reliance on its original affidavit (2007) and not on additional affidavit…women of any age group should not be
debarred from entry into the temple to worship the deity,” a bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra, R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan said.

The Left Democratic Front government adopted the same stand in 2007 during its previous stint in the state, but the Oomen Chandy-led UDF government which formed government in 2011 overturned it, PTI reported.

Defending the ban, the temple administration had argued that the tradition was connected to the religion practice. The Supreme Court recently changed the bench hearing the petition which was filed ten years ago. The Supreme Court had questioned the tradition of barring entry of women in the temples, stating that it violated their rights as one should not prevent a woman from entering a religious place.

The Supreme Court said that the women have been granted rights under the Constitution of India and a detailed order will be given once the matter is heard by a five-member bench.