Stating that "law and society are tasked with the task to act as levelers", CJI Misra said "dualistic approach against women degrades the status of women".
Stating that society needs to undergo a perceptual shift, Misra said: "Patriarchy in religion can not be permitted to trump over elements of pure devotion borne out of faith and the freedom to practise and profess one's religion". "Relationship with God can't be defined by biological or physiological factors".
The Sabarimala Ayyappa temple was one of the few temples in India that barred entry to women aged between 10 and 50. The board has heavily relied on Article 26 of the Constitution, which guarantees a religious denomination of right to manage its own internal religious affairs. "Equality must be seen with the rights of worshippers", she added.
Justice Chandrachud said any custom or religious practice that violates dignity of women by denying them entry because of her physiology is unconstitutional.
The custom in the temple in the southern state of Kerala was challenged by a clutch of petitioners who argued that women can not be denied the constitutional right to worship.
Mumbai: Activist Trupti Desai, who led an agitation earlier to allow women to enter the Shani Shingnapur temple in Maharashtra, on Friday hailed the Supreme Court's order on Kerala's Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala.
TDB president A Padmakumar also told reporters the board will implement the court's verdict.
Kandaru Rajeevaru, the head priest of Sabarimala, said: "We are disappointed but accept the Supreme Court verdict on women entry". Across cities and towns, menstruating girls and women are not allowed to prepare food, enter a temple or touch an idol.
Justice DV Chandrachud had also highlighted that a woman can not be stopped entry simply due to their gender. SC said that practice of exclusion can not be regarded as essential religious practice, and this custom is not backed by Article 25 and 26 of the constitution, which are related to the right of freedom to practice any religion and religious practices. Justice Nariman had observed that "menstruation is not impure".
Supreme Court will give another verdict today on Sabarimala temple case.
On February 20, 2017, the Court expressed its inclination to refer the case to a Constitution Bench.
The bench passed four sets of separate judgements.
The higher bench had reserved its judgment in the case on August 2. This is because Ayyappan is a Bramhachari (celibate).
Calling the rulings extremely significant, Ranjana Kumari, director of the Center for Social Research in New Delhi, said they would help chip away at patriarchy and usher in change in a country where men dominate family, religion and politics.
Jaising had argued that the custom is discriminatory in nature and that it stigmatised women.
The state government's stand is not just with regard to the Sabarimala temple but all places of worship, Surendran said, insisting there should be no discrimination. On one hand, women are worshipped as Goddesses, but there are restrictions on the other hand.