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SC asks centre to reply by November 5 on plea for entry of women into mosques



New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday sought the Centre’s response by November 5 on a plea seeking entry of Muslim women in mosques across the country and claiming that such restriction was “unconstitutional” and violative of fundamental rights to life, equality, and gender justice.

A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice SA Bobde and Justice S Abdul Nazeer granting a week more time to the Centre, National Commission for Women (NCW), Central Waqf Council, and All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), posted the matter for hearing on November 5.

Earlier, on April 16 the apex court had admitted the plea of a Pune-based Muslim couple asking to lift the prohibition on entry of Muslim women inside mosques.

It had issued notice to the parties and sought their response. The court had said it will hear the plea only because of its judgment in Sabarimala temple.

On September 28 last year, the Supreme Court had lifted the ban on the entry of women aged between 10 and 50 years into the premises of Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala, Kerala.

The petition filed before the top court also sought direction to declare the prohibition on entry of Muslim women into mosques in the country as “illegal and unconstitutional” because it violates the fundamental rights of women.


Arvind Kejriwal ropes in Prashant Kishor for image makeover




New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has inked a deal with Indian Political Action Committee (IPAC) for image makeover, the party chief Arvind Kejriwal announced on Saturday.

The AAP had secured 67 out of 70 assembly seats in Delhi in the last assembly elections in 2014. The date of assembly election in Delhi is to be announced soon as the poll needs to be completed by February 14, 2020.

Political strategist and currently an influential leader of the Janata Dal (United), Prashant Kishor runs advocacy group IPAC.

The advocacy group also declared on Saturday they have inked a deal with Kejriwal’s party.

On social media platforms, Kejriwal said: “Happy to share that IPAC is coming on-board with us. Welcome aboard!”

The advocacy group also said: “After Punjab results, we acknowledged you as the toughest opponent that we have ever faced. Happy to join forces now with Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party.”

Kishore worked with the Congress in 2017 for Punjab and Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. His wrote a successful story in Punjab in helping the Congress come back to power after two successive electoral losses.

Currently, Kishor is national vice-president of the JD(U) led by Nitish Kumar. JD(U) is an ally of the BJP at Centre as well in Bihar.

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