The Dargah management is all set to inform the Supreme Court that it would allow women to enter into the sanctum sanctorum, which houses the tomb of Muslim Saint Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari.
According to a Times of India report, senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam, appearing for the Dargah, informed a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur that he had persuaded the Dargah management to set up a mechanism to allow women’s entry into the inner sanctum.
However, Subramanium could not elaborate as the bench did not take up the case due to scarcity of time.
“The Dargah management will devise the mode and method for allowing women into the inner sanctum,” Subramaniam was quoted by Times of India as saying.
The move comes a day after Supreme Court today extended the stay granted by Bombay High Court to facilitate an appeal against its decision to lift the ban on entry of women near the sanctum sanctorum of the famous Haji Ali Dargah till October 24, when it will hear the matter.
As the case did not reach the board for hearing, the counsel for the Haji Ali Dargah Trust urged the bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur, Justice A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud to extend the stay until the next date of the hearing.
The bench accepted the oral plea of senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam in this regard.
The apex court had on October 7 expressed hope that the Trust, which has challenged the high court judgement, "will take a stand which is progressive".
Subramaniam had also assured the bench that he was on a "progressive mission" and said all holy books and scriptures promoted equality and nothing which is regressive in character should be suggested.
The bench had also remarked that "if you are not allowing both men and women to go beyond a point, there is no problem.
But if you are allowing some to go beyond a point while others are not, it is a problem."
The bench, which recorded that an identical issue has been raised and was pending before the Supreme Court relating to the Sabarimala Temple in Kerala, said "the problem is not only among Muslims, but among the Hindus also".
The counsel, appearing for a women's group which haschallenged the practice of the Trust not to allow women near the sanctum sanctorum, had submitted that the position was different before 2011 than what it is today.
The Trust moved the apex court challenging the Bombay High Court order lifting the ban on women from entering the sanctum sanctorum of the renowned Muslim shrine in South Bombay.