HC to hear PIL on ban on women at Haji Ali

Written By Unknown on Senin, 23 Februari 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Bombay high court will hear on Monday a public interest litigation challenging the ban on the entry of women into the sanctum sanctorum of the Haji Ali Dargah which houses the mazaar (tomb) of the saint and has millions of visitors every year.

A new bench of justice V M Kanade and justice A R Joshi will hear the PIL filed by activists Noorjehan Niaz and Zakia Soman of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, who experienced "first hand the restriction which was imposed somewhere between March 2011-June 2012." They said right from their childhood they were allowed unimpeded access to the inner sanctum (mazaar) but now there is a barricade.

A division bench headed by Justice S C Dharmadhikari at the preliminary hearing on January 28 had framed questions for the petitioners to respond and had adjourned the matter till today. However, instead, the matter came up for directions on February 11 before the bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice B P Colabawalla.

Advocate Raju Moray, appearing for the PIL petitioners, submitted that an order passed on January 28 by the regular bench was recalled by a full bench on February 6. This was regarding strictures passed against the HC's original side registry and directions for disciplinary action against the staff. Moray said a second order was passed on the same day framing constitutional questions. "It was kept today to deal with it on merits," he said. After perusing the order, Justice Shah said the matter will come up before the division bench headed by justice Kanade.

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