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1. Arguments in the #Sabarimala Petition resume. Mr. Parasaran now argues for the Nair Service Society.
2. Mr. Parasaran submits that Kerala is an educated society
3. Mr. Parasaran submits that 96% of the women in Kerala are educated. They are independent. It is a matrilineal society. Therefore to assume that the practice of the #Sabarimala Temple is based on patriarchy is fundamentally incorrect
4. Mr. Parasaran submits that the practice of the #Sabarimala Temple is not comparable to Sati. In fact, Sati itself has not connection to the Hindu faith.
5. Mr. Parasaran cites the examples of the wives of Dasaratha and Kunti to prove that they did not commit Sati after their husbands' death. #Sabarimala
6. Therefore Mr. Parasaran submits that we should not approach the issue of #Sabarimala with notions of patriarchy
7. Mr. Parasaran says that a right question will lead to the right answer, a wrong question will lead to the wrong answer. #Sabarimala
8. Mr. Parasaran submits that if a person asks "can I smoke when I pray?" he will get a slap. But if he asks "can I pray as I smoke?" he will be appreciated. #Sabarimala
9. Therefore, Mr. Parasaran says the right questions must be asked in this case for the Court to get the right answers. #Sabarimala
10. Mr. Parasaran further submits that in this case he has to be even more careful and prepared because he is answerable not just to the Lordships but also the Lord above. #Sabarimala
11. Mr. Parasaran is now reading out portions from the Shirur Mutt decision of the Supreme Court. #Sabarimala
12. Mr. Parasaran submits that even democracies, especially democracies, must protect religion and tradition. #Sabarimala
13. Mr. Parasaran submits that Hindu religion respects merit and wisdom wherever it comes from. He says for neeti, it is still Vidura neeti which is cited. That is the greatness of the faith. #Sabarimala
14. Mr. Parasaran submits that while the court must listen to activist voices, it must equally listen to voices which seek to protect tradition. #Sabarimala
15. Mr. Parasaran submits that the Legislature is Brahma, Executive is Vishnu and Shiva is judiciary because only Shiva's ardhanarishwara form epifies Article 14, equal treatment of both sexes. #Sabarimala
16. Mr. Parasaran submits that Shiva is no Brahmachari, but even when his meditative state was sought to be disturbed by Kama Deva, he was reduced to ash because he failed to respect that state of Shiva. #Sabarimala
17. Mr. Parasaran submits that we must not proceed with the presumption that the ancients knew nothing and that we know better in all aspects of life. #Sabarimala
18. Mr. Parasaran that Lord Ayyappa's character as a Naishtika Brahmachari is protected by the Constitution. #Sabarimala
19. Mr. Parasaran is placing reliance on the judgment of the Court in Tilkayat Govindaji Maharaj (1964). #Sabarimala
20. Mr. Parasaran refutes the argument of the Petitioner that some women may die before they reach the age of 50, Mr. Parasaran says that a person carries her or his fate with him. That's not a legal consideration to reverse the tradition
21. Mr. Parasaran points out that there are thousands of ppl who register for Padi Pooja at #Sabarimala, the consequence being that the pooja will be conducted in their name only long after their deaths.
22. Mr. Parasaran therefore submits that using death as an argument to upset the tradition is neither here nor there. #Sabarimala
23. Mr. Parasaran submits that the basis of the practice is the celibate nature of the Deity, not misogyny. Devotees who visit the Temple too are expected to observe celibacy in letter and spirit. Hence, during the journey, company of women must be avoided.
24. Mr. Parasaran is reading out portions from the Sundarakanda of the Ramayana to explain the concept of Naishtika Brahmacharya. #Sabarimala
25. Mr. Parasaran submits that Lord Ayyappa is a yogi. To define who a Yogi is, Mr. Parasaran is quoting Adi Sankara. #Sabarimala
26. Mr. Parasaran submits that misogyny is not supported by Hindu Shastras nor is chastity the sole obligation of the woman. In fact, chastity is a greater obligation on the man and he is duty bound under the Shastras to give a pride of place to the woman
27. Mr. Parasaran submits that the practice in Sabarimala by no stretch of imagination is informed by misogyny. The only consideration is the nature of the Deity. #Sabarimala
28. Mr. Parasaran now proceeds to address Article 25. #Sabarimala
29. Mr. Parasaran submits that Article 25(2)(b) applies only to social reform, it still does not apply to matters of religion covered by Article 26 (b). #Sabarimala
30. Justice Chandrachud wonders if Article 25(2)(b) applies to only Hindu institutions. Mr. Parasaran responds that the practice sought to be addressed by the said Article is peculiar only to Hindu institutions. #Sabarimala
31. Arguments to continue post lunch. #Sabarimala
32. Mr. Parasaran resumes submissions post lunch. Mr. Parasaran submits that women do not fall under the protection of Article 25(2) #Sabarimala
33. Justice Nariman asks- will not scheduled caste women be protected by Article 25(2)? Mr. Parasaran disagrees and says 25(2) treats the community as a class, not on the basis of gender. #Sabarimala
34. Mr. Parasaran submits that even Article 15 does not apply to religious institutions which is evident from the language of the Article itself. This was a conscious exclusion since an amendment to include religious institutions was rejected. #Sabarimala
35. Justice Chandrachud observes that perhaps Article 25(2) may not apply to the rule under challenge. But asks what provision acts as a limitation on the rights of religious denominations under Article 26. #Sabarimala
36. Mr. Parasaran submits that Article 25(2) deals only with secular aspects and right of entry of classes or sections. It does not therefore apply to religious aspects or right of entry based on gender. #Sabarimala
37. The CJI asks Mr. Parasaran to shed light on the Constituent Assembly debates on the relevant Articles of the Constitution. Mr. Parasaran is now walking the Court through the debates. #Sabarimala
38. Justice Nariman asks - "Therefore Mr. Parasaran, are you saying that the core object of Article 25(2)(b) is connected to the object of Article 17?" Mr. Parasaran answers in the affirmative. #Sabarimala
39. Justice Nariman asks - "why do we need two provisions for the same object?" Mr. Parasaran submits that while Article 17 applies generally, Article 25(2) applies specifically to Temples. #Sabarimala
40. Mr. Parasaran further submits that Article 25(2) reiterates the object of Article 17 in the specific context of Temples and Hindus to send a loud and clear message. #Sabarimala
41. Mr. Parasaran submits that if the intention of the Constituent Assembly was to include religion in Article 15, they would have. #Sabarimala
42. Justice Nariman agrees with Mr. Parasaran's interpretation of Articles 15(2) and 25(2)
43. Justice Nariman agrees that the object of Article 25(2) and Article 17 are the same i.e. To address caste based untouchability and not gender.
44. Mr. Parasaran says that he does not even need to make his case under Article 26 because he has a solid case under Article 25 itself. #Sabarimala
45. Justice Nariman says - "assume that we agree with your submissions, then pls explain to us why can't the state fall back on 25(2) citing religious reform? Also what about the rights of women under Article 25(1)?“
46. Mr Parasaran submits that the present case does not involve a social issue but a religious issue. By using 25(2), u will reform a religion out of its identity. #Sabarimala
47. Justice Nariman agrees with the submission of Mr. Parasaran on the inapplicability of Article 25(2) to the issue at hand
48. Mr. Parasaran is now walking the Court through judgements on rights of religious denominations. #Sabarimala
49. Mr. Parasaran submits that by abolishing the practice, the very character of the religious institution will be irreparably altered which affects the rights of devotees under Article 25(1). #Sabarimala
50. Mr. Parasaran digresses and submits that Constitutional law is his first love and that it is his privilege to argue in this matter when he has otherwise stopped taking up matters. #Sabarimala
51. Mr. Parasaran is placing reliance on the Jantia Hills District case. #Sabarimala
52. The citation of the judgement is 2006(4) SCC 748
53. Mr. Parasaran is citing the creation of another heaven for Trishanku by Vishwamitra as an example of the consequence of over activism. And submits that the Petition at hand is a case in point. #Sabarimala
54. Mr. Parasaran is now walking the Bench through the Travancore Cochin Hindu Religious Institutions Act, 1951. #Sabarimala
55. Mr. Parasaran is citing Section 15A(1) of the 1951 Act which deals with duties of the Travancore Devaswom Board. #Sabarimala
56. Mr. Parasaran points out that the said provision requires the Board to observe and maintain the practices of Temples under its administration. #Sabarimala
57. Mr. Parasaran is now going through the Constituent Assembly debates to show the history of Articles 14, 15 & 25. #Sabarimala
58. Mr. Parasaran is reading portions of the debates which relate to Article 17, which clearly show that the Article deals only with caste-based untouchability. #Sabarimala
59. Mr. Parasaran is reading out extracts from the Interim Report on Fundamental Rights with respect to Articles 15, 17 and 25(2)(b). #Sabarimala
60. Mr. Parasaran specifically shows the rejection of the amendment of Article 15 by the Constituent Assembly with respect to inclusion of religious places. #Sabarimala
61. Mr. Parasaran is reading out portions from debate of November 29,1948 to support his position on Article 17 that it relates only to religion and caste based untouchability
62. Mr. Parasaran submits that even if Article 25(2) applies to women, it is only with respect to social issues but not religious issues. #Sabarimala
63. Mr. Parasaran further submits that Article 25(2)(b) is at best an enabling provision for the Legislature, it doesn't enable the judiciary. #Sabarimala
64. Mr. Parasaran submits that there are several other famous Ayyappa Temples in Kerala itself which allow entry of women without age restrictions. Therefore, the #Sabarimala Temple is not a case of discrimination.
65. Mr. Parasaran is thanking the Bench for a patient hearing. He has concluded his submissions. #Sabarimala
66. The Bench will hear the Counsels for the remaining Respondents and Intervenors tomorrow
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