Supreme Court: Questions of law can be referred to larger bench for review in Sabarimala case

Updated: Feb 10, 2020, 14:51 IST | ANI | New Delhi

Last year, a five-judge Constitution bench had referred to a larger bench the issues relating to the constitutional validity of religious practices like barring entry of women and girls into a place of worship

Sabarimala temple
Sabarimala temple

The nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Monday held that questions of law can be referred to a larger review bench. The nine-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde, passed the verdict on more than 50 review petitions challenging the top court's earlier judgment on the Sabarimala issue. The apex court also framed seven issues to be heard by the nine-judge bench on matters relating to freedom of religion under Constitution and faith.

The bench had reserved its order on February 6 after hearing the arguments on the issue of whether the top court can refer questions of law and what can be the composition of the law on the issue of the review petitions pending before it. "We will pronounce the order on Monday," the court had said after hearing arguments from all the respective parties.

Besides the CJI, the other eight judges in the bench are -- Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan, L Nageshwar Rao, Mohan M Shantanagoudar, S Abdul Nazeer, R Subhash Reddy, B R Gavai and Surya Kant. The bench is hearing matters relating to discrimination against women in various religions including Kerala's Sabarimala temple, mosques, the practice of female genital mutilation in the Dawoodi Bohra community and Parsi women married to non-Parsi men being barred from its holy fire temple.

Last year, a five-judge Constitution bench had referred to a larger bench the issues relating to the constitutional validity of religious practices like barring entry of women and girls into a place of worship. It had observed that the issue of the constitutional validity of religious practices like barring entry of women and girls into a place of worship was not limited to the Sabarimala case.

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