The issue of the entry of women into the Sabarimala temple is not addressed: SC

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday resumed its exercise of asking questions related to discrimination against women in various religions and made it clear that it was not discussing the issue of the entry of women of all age groups.

A bank of nine judges headed by the President of the Supreme Court, SA Bobde, has been listening to several high-ranking lawyers on the issue of broader legal issues to be deliberated by him regarding discrimination against women in Various religions

The review case of Sabarimala is not before us. We are not deciding Sabarimala. We are deciding the broader questions, the bank said when the main defenders FS Nariman, Kapil Sibal, Shyam Divan and Rakesh Dwivedi opposed the audience on the biggest call. Question related to discrimination against women in various religions.

A constitutional bank of five judges, by a majority of 3: 2 on November 14 last year, referred to a larger bank on the issue of discrimination against women in religions, such as the denial of the entry of Muslim women to mosques, the practice of denial of the right to those who have married outside their religion.

At first, Nariman said that the question of whether women of all age groups can be allowed into the Sabarimala temple was already decided by the Supreme Court in 2018 and the subsequent review has also been addressed and, therefore, This cannot be awarded again.

The bank, which also includes Judges R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan, L Nageswara Rao, M M Shantanagoudar, S A Nazeer, R Subhash Reddy, B R Gavai and Surya Kant, said they will also consider Nariman's objection as one of the issues.

Nariman said the higher court cannot group other problems with Sabarimala and cannot ask questions in a review and present new problems.

The scope of the review is very restricted. This will set a new precedent. How can you think about other issues in a review? he said.

To this, the CJI said: No. We will not decide these issues. We will only interpret the articles involved in these cases.

Another senior lawyer, Kapil Sibal, who appeared for the Muslim Personal Board of All India, said that although Muslim women are allowed to enter the mosque, the issue of essential religious practice is broad enough to be decided. by this court.

Articles 25 and 26 (fundamental rights to religion) of the Constitution are part of the fundamental rights that can be enforced against state action, he said.

Many requests have been submitted saying it is bad. Someone says it is bad. How the bank will decide the matter, said Sibal.

To this, the bank said: That is why we have established a bank of nine judges. That's why we are listening.

The bank said it was only going to decide the interpretation of the articles that have been invoked in Sabarimala.

During the hearing, which is still ongoing, Sibal asked: How do articles 21 (right to life or personal freedom), 17 (abolition of untouchability) and 14 (equality before the law) interpret? Any statement you make will impact everyone across the country. It will affect the caste system. How do you decide?

He also said that these are the issues that will have an impact throughout the country and all religious denominations.

On January 13, the trial court requested four high-level lawyers to convene a meeting to decide on the issues they will discuss in the matter.

Referring the matter to a larger bank, a bank of five judges on November 14 last year said the debate about the constitutional validity of religious practices, such as a bar at the entrance of women and girls in a place of worship , was not limited to Case Sabarimala.

He had said that such restrictions were there with regard to the entry of Muslim women into mosques and dargahs, and that the Parsi women, married to men who were not Parsi, entered the sacred place of fire of an agiary.

He established seven questions of law to be examined by the largest bank. They include the interaction between freedom of religion according to articles 25 and 26 of the Constitution, the need to delineate constitutional moral expression, the extent to which courts can investigate particular religious practices, the meaning of sections of Hindus under article 25 and if the essential religious practices of a denomination or section thereof are protected by article 26.

While the five-judge bank unanimously agreed to refer religious matters to a larger bank, it issued a 3: 2 split verdict on petitions seeking a review of the September 2018 apex court decision, allowing women of all ages enter the Sabarimala sanctuary in Kerala.

A majority verdict for the then President of the Supreme Court and Judges AM Khanwilkar and Indu Malhotra decided to keep the appeals pending in order to review their decision on the entry of women to the sanctuary and said that restrictions on women in religious places did not they were limited only to Sabarimala and prevailed. in other religions too.

The minority verdict of Judges R F Nariman and D & Chandrachud gave a dissenting opinion by dismissing all review pleas and ordering compliance with their decision of September 28, 2018.

By a majority verdict of 4: 1, the apex court had lifted the ban that prevented women and girls between the ages of 10 and 50 from entering the famous Ayyappa shrine in Sabarimala and held that centenary Hindu religious practice was illegal and unconstitutional