The Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked Maharashtra government to give its opinion on a public interest litigation challenging the decision of Haji Ali Trust to ban the entry of women in the sanctum sanctorum of the historic Durgah here.
As the issue is sensitive, a bench headed by Justice V.M. Kanade asked Advocate General Srihari Aney to submit arguments on behalf of the state on February 9 stating whether women should be allowed into the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine.
The Supreme Court is seized of a matter about entry of women in Sabarimala temple of Kerala.
This is also for the first time that the state has been asked to give its views on women's entry into a shrine.
When the PIL came up for hearing on Wednesday, the bench was told that the Advocate General was on his legs before another bench in some other matter. Hence, the PIL on Haji Ali Durgah was posted for arguments on February 9 when the Advocate General has been asked to argue on behalf of the State.
The HC had indicated last month that it would wait for the Supreme Court's ruling on entry of women in Sabarimala temple in Kerala before deciding on the plea in the case of Haji Ali Durgah here.
The judges had said both the matters were similar involving the entry of women in the religious shrines and hence they would like to see what view would the Supreme Court take on the issue before they give a ruling on the interim relief sought by the petitioner in the Bombay High Court.
The petition had sought interim relief by way of allowing women into the sanctum sanctorum at the Durgah until the matter is finally decided by the court.