9-Judge Bench reference in Sabarimala review: Lawyers to meet on Jan 17 to chart out course of hearing
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9-Judge Bench reference in Sabarimala review: Lawyers to meet on Jan 17 to chart out course of hearing

Bar & Bench

In the reference made in the Sabarimala review case concerning issues of rights of women qua religion, the Supreme Court today directed lawyers appearing for various parties to hold a conference.

At this conference, the lawyers are expected to chart out how the arguments will be made, what issues will be added, etc.

The lawyers will convene on January 17 to determine these issues. The Secretary General of the Supreme Court was also directed to be present at this conference.

The matter was heard today by a 9-Judge Constitution Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan, L Nageswara Rao, Mohan M Shantanagoudar, S Abdul Nazeer, R Subhash Reddy, BR Gavai, and Surya Kant.

At the outset, a core committee member of the Sabarimala Temple urged the Court to hear and decide the review petition in light of submissions made by the head of the committee. However, CJI Bobde responded,

“We are not hearing the review petition, are only hearing the 7 points as mentioned in the reference.”
CJI SA Bobde

Counsel for the Indian Lawyers Association stated that the writ petitions concerning Muslim women’s rights to enter mosques, genital mutilation in the Bohra Muslim community etc are intrinsically connected to Sabarimala. To this, CJI BObde said,

"Whether these questions concerning other communities are different or not, has to be seen and looked into."

Senior Advocate Indira Jaising was next to raise a query. She stated that a decision on the review is a pre-condition to decide the present issues. The questions so framed are purely academic in nature and are judicially insurmountable, Jaising argued.

Senior Advocate Indira Jaising
Senior Advocate Indira Jaising
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