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Sabarimala Reference : New Issues Framed

2020-02-10

The Supreme Court upheld the reference to larger bench of the legal questions surrounding entry of women into the Sabarimala temple.

A nine-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde held that the Supreme Court, while exercising its powers under review jurisdiction, is empowered to frame legal questions and refer the same to a larger bench. The court also reframed questions to be heard by the bench.

The review petitions will be decided after the nine-judge bench answers the legal questions referred to it.

The seven questions that the larger bench of SC will consider:

  1. What is the scope and ambit of right to freedom of religion under Article 25 of the Constitution of India?
  2. What is the inter-play between the rights of persons under Article 25 of the Constitution of India and rights of religious denomination under Article 26 of the Constitution of India?
  3. Whether the rights of a religious denomination under Article 26 of the Constitution of India are subject to other provisions of Part III of the Constitution of India apart from public order, morality and health?
  4. What is the scope and extent of the word ‘morality’ under Articles 25 and 26 of the Constitution of India and whether it is meant to include Constitutional morality?
  5. What is the scope and extent of judicial review with regard to a religious practice as referred to in Article 25 of the Constitution of India?
  6. What is the meaning of expression “Sections of Hindus” occurring in Article 25 (2) (b) of the Constitution of India?
  7. Whether a person not belonging to a religious denomination or religious group can question a practice of that religious denomination or religious group by filing a PIL?

The bench held that the reference was maintainable and held that questions of law can be referred to a larger bench in a review.

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