SC to consider Sabarimala issue from Jan 13

SC to consider Sabarimala issue from Jan 13

According to a notice put out on the SC website on Monday, a nine-judge bench would commence hearing the review petitions along with other petitions from January 13, 2020. (Credit: DH)

The Supreme Court on Monday decided to set up a nine-judge bench to decide the matter arising out of its judgement allowing entry of all age group women to Kerala's Sabarimala temple. A nine-judge bench was last constituted in 2017 when it delivered a milestone judgement declaring the right to privacy as a fundamental right in the Justice K S Puttaswamy case.

According to a notice put out on the SC website on Monday, a nine-judge bench would commence hearing the review petitions along with other petitions from January 13, 2020.

Notably, on November 14, a five-judge Constitution bench referred to a larger bench of not less than seven judges for deciding questions arising out of the entry of women into Sabarimala temple.

The court had then said similar pending questions related to Muslim women's right to enter 'dargah' and mosque, and permission to Parsi women, married to a non-Parsi, into the holy fireplace of an 'Agyari' and practice of female genital mutilation among Dawoodi Bohar community would require authoritative determinations.

Chief Justice S A Bobde, subsequently, said that women, keen to visit Sabarimala temple, should wait until the larger seven-judge bench finally decided the “emotive” issue of their entry to the shrine of Lord Ayappa. The court had twice orally observed that the 2018 judgement was not the last and final word in view of the pendency of the matter.

Now, it has turned out that the Chief Justice has decided to constitute the nine-judge bench to deal with the matter since the issues involved here related to the interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution touching upon the right to profess, practice and propagate one's religion, and no discrimination on the basis of sex, among others.

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