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A nine-Judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court today held that questions can be referred to a larger Bench even in review petitions.
Further, the Court also intimated that questions pertaining to the following larger issues will be taken up by the nine-Judge Bench i.e.,
Ambit and scope of religious freedom;
Interplay between rights of people under Article 25 and the rights of religious denominations under Article 26 of the Constitution of India;
Whether rights of religious denomination are subject to other provisions of Part III of the Constitution;
Scope and extent of morality under Articles 25 and 26 and whether it includes Constitunal morality;
Whether religious denominations enjoy fundamental rights;
Meaning of expression "section of Hindus" under Article 25(2)(b);
Whether a person not belonging to a religious group can question practice of that religious group by filing a PIL.
The Court will hear arguments on these issues on a day-to-day basis. The arguments are to begin on February 17, in line with a request made on behalf of all the parties.
The Court today also suggested giving one entire day for arguments to the lead counsel on each side. CJI SA Bobde added that each side may get five days each, extendable by two days. He suggested that the arguments be wound up within the time frame fixed.
CJI SA Bobde said.
The decision was rendered this morning by the Bench headed by CJI Bobde that was set up to hear the questions of law referred to by a five-judge Bench in an order passed on review pleas challenging the 2018 Sabarimala judgment.