The 9-Judge bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde, to consider the larger questions of faith and fundamental rights referred in the Sabarimala review case, was on Monday informed by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that the lawyers could not reach consensus on the framing of issues to be considered by the bench. Mr. Mehta urged the bench to consider re-framing of issues and also handed a draft containing suggestions. CJI SA Bobde said that the request put forward by the Solicitor General will be considered and also indicated that there would be 10 days of hearing period set for the case.
A 3-judge bench led by CJI SA Bobde, was hearing the Sabarimala review reference, on 13thJanuary, asked the lawyers involved in the case to have a conference for the re-framing of issues. This was done so after the bench agreed that the questions referred in the order passed by the Sabarimala review bench on November 14th, 2019 were too broad. The lawyers had a conference on 17th January but could not come up with consensus regarding the re-framing of the issues to be considered by the bench.
The 5-judge bench which was headed by then Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had observed that certain issues which are in the Sabarimala review were common with many other pending cases concerning women rights, such as women entry in Mosques, the validity of the practice of female genital mutilation among the Dawoodi Bohra community and the rights of Parsi women who had married a non-Parsi to enter the Fire Temples.
The 14th November order suggested the following questions could be arising out of the review which is to be considered by the larger bench:
1. The interplay between Article 25 and 26 of the Constitution with other provisions of Part III of the Constitution, particularly Article 14.
2. What is the sweep of the expression “Public Order, Morality and Health” occurring in Article 25(1) of the Constitution.
3. The definition of the term “morality” and “Constitutional morality” is it arching morality in reference to preamble or limited to religious beliefs or faith.
4. The extent to which the Court can enquire into the issue of particular practice as in integral part of religion, or is it should it be exclusively determined by the head of the section of the religious group.
5. The meaning of the term “sections of Hindus” appearing in Article 25(2)(b) of the Constitution.
6. Whether there is any Constitutional protection afforded by Article 26 to “essential religious practices”.
7. The permissible extent of PILs questioning religious practices by persons who are not part of that religious denomination.
- The Supreme Court said that it’ll set a period of 10 days for the hearing of the review of Sabarimala.
- CJI SA Bobde said that the questions which to be dealt would be purely legal in nature and therefore would not take much time to conclude.
- Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Court that the lawyers could not come to a consensus on the framing of issues to be considered by the 9-judge bench.
Solicitor general Tushar Mehta told the Court on Monday that the lawyers had their conference on 17th January but could not come to consensus regarding re-framing of issues which are to be considered by the 9-judge bench. Mr. Mehta asked the Court to consider re-framing of questions and handed over the court a draft containing suggestions.
The 9-judge bench led by Chief Justice SA Bobde on Tuesday fixed a 10 day period to wrap up the Sabarimala review petition. The Court will decide upon all the cases pending concerning women rights, such as women entry in Mosques, the validity of the practice of female genital mutilation among the Dawoodi Bohra community and the rights of Parsi women who had married a non-Parsi to enter the Fire Temples. CJI Bobde said that the questions to be dealt would purely legal in nature and hence will not take much time to conclude.
Edited by J. Madonna Jephi
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje
1. Live Law, https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/sabarimala-reference-sg-urges-sc-to-consider-re-framing-the-issues-as-lawyers-could-not-reach-consensus-152081?infinitescroll=1 (last visited 29th January 2020, 2:14 PM)
2. India Legal, https://www.indialegallive.com/constitutional-law-news/supreme-court-news/arguments-nine-judge-bench-sabarimala-review-concluded-10-days-says-cji-85804 (last visited 29th January 2020, 2:14 PM)