NOORJEHAN SAFIA NIAZ VS STATE OF MAHARASTRA AND OTHERS,2016

FACTS

The ultimate verdict for the case was the petition that was heard by the court in 2016. The petitioners took use of their entitlement under “Article 226 of the Indian constitution” and filed a PIL with the jurisdiction’s high court, the Bombay High Court, to seek equal protection for women who had been injured arbitrarily by the defendants.The two petitioners, Noorjehan Safia Niaz and Zakia Soman, were participants of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan’s social activities. This is a non-profit organisation dedicated to empowering Muslim women in India. They strive to defend them and fight for their equal respect in society as males. The petitioners were regular visitors to the Haji Ali Dargah. “The Haji Ali Dargah is a well-known sight in Mumbai, a renowned mirage floating in the middle of the sea. This Indo-Islamic pilgrimage site, nestled on an island near Mumbai’s Worli shore, is a welcome yet startling sight.

The grave of Saint Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari is housed in the mosque, which was erected in the 19th century. According to legend, Saint Haji Ali died while on a pilgrimage to Mecca, but his casket mysteriously floated across the sea and landed on the shores of Mumbai. This is the storey of how Mumbai’s famous mosque came to be.”

The petitioners claimed that they haven’t been refused entrance to the Dargah’s inner sanctum sanctorum since they were children whenever they went. The petitioners drew attention to a recent visit they made with their friends in 2011, claiming that they were allowed inside the Dargah’s inner sanctum sanctorum in the same manner.

When the petitioners returned to the location in 2012, however, something strange happened. As they approached the main section of the Dargah, the sanctum sanctorum, a steel wall was erected to prevent the women from entering.

It was done, according to the trust, since the women’s dresses revealed their breasts. They went on to say that it was done to safeguard female devotees and that they were attempting to correct the error due to a lack of knowledge of the Shariyat, which prohibits women from entering.
After hearing the arguments, the petitioners addressed different government authorities and commissions, requesting that they intervene and manage the situation.The petitioners were unable to obtain assistance from any government agencies or responses from the respondents, so they decided to file a PIL in court, claiming that prohibiting women from entering the inner sanctum sanctorum is a clear violation of Articles 14, 15, and 25 of the Indian Constitution.

JUDGEMENT

The Haji Ali Dargah Trust is a Muslim public charity trust that is not self-supporting. The aims, objects, and operations of the Haji Ali Dargah trust as defined in the government-formulated programme were not influenced by any culture, custom, or practise. The goals of the Haji Ali Dargah Trust are entirely non-religious secular and property-related activities. Women’s admission is restricted since none of the subjects or the Scheme have the authority to decide on issues of religion in trustees. Because land administration is not subject to faith, security is not given in accordance with Article 26. (b).

The right to administer the Trust (Article 26) cannot be used to override the right to religion (Article 25).
The State as such shall ensure the security of all its people’s rights, enshrined in Part III of the Constitution, including Articles 14, 15 and 25, to protect them against gender discrimination and religious discrimination, and the Trust has no right, under the guise of “managing religious relations,” to discriminate against women in their public worship.

 

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