The Sabarimala issue that is currently attracting attention across the nation is to be heard and decided by the Supreme Court’s Nine-Judge Constitution Bench. On 10 February, 2020 the Court’s Nine-Judge Constitution Bench decided that the issues that were earlier framed by the Five-Judge Bench is not focused on the legal issues of Sabarimala and as such the said issue should be enlarged and the Supreme Court should consider all legal issues pertaining to Sabaraimala. The Court’s Nine-Judge Constitution Bench, headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde, rejected the objections of Senior Advocates FS Nariman and Shyam Divan regarding the to a Five-Judge Bench’s decision last November and has decided to refer the following legal questions to a larger bench.
On 10 February, 2020 Court’s Nine-Judge Constitution Bench frames the following issues: –
- What is the scope and ambit of right to freedom of religion under Article 25 of the Constitution of India?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- What is the meaning of expression “Sections of Hindus” occurring in Article 25 (2) (b) of the Constitution of India?
- 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 court had then said adherence to “judicial and properties” was necessary. Since more than one petition was pending on the same, related or overlapping issues, it had said that all the cases would proceed together.
The Court also directed that one lawyer from each side will make leading arguments. They will also get one full day to argue. The Court will also give two hours to each lawyer to make supplementary arguments and these further arguments on merits, on question of law will be heard on 17 February, 2020.
THE INDIAN LAWYER