Milind Parande. (File Photo: IANS). Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Nov 14 : The Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Thursday expressed hope that the larger bench of the top court will acknowledge and respect the "unique nature and traditions" of the Sabarimala temple.

VHP secretary general Milind Parande stressed that the "unique tradition of a unique temple is not gender discrimination".

He added that the Hindu religion doesn't practice gender discrimination. The Sabarimala case, Parande opined, is not related to any gender discrimination.

Parande expressed hope that the larger bench will think whether the judiciary should interfere in what many construe as the integral part of a religion.

"Out of many temples of Lord Ayyappa, only Sabarimala has the limited age-related (10 to 50 years) restrictions because of its unique nature and traditions. Lakhs of women devotees have faith in the temple tradition and protested in huge numbers in support of it. We are hopeful that justice would be delivered upholding the religious rights and pious traditions of Hindus," said the VHP leader.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court in a 3:2 verdict referred the issue of entry of women into Sabarimala temple and other religious places to a larger seven-judge bench. Justices R.F. Nariman and D.Y. Chandrachud dissented while Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Indu Malhotra and A.M. Khanwilkar who were in favour of referring the matter to a larger bench.

However, there is no stay on the September 28, 2018 judgement which lifted the ban on the entry of women aged between 10 and 50 in the temple.

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