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Sabarimala case

Sabarimala case

Sabarimala case

Sabarimala case

GS II: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

Why in the news?‘Review court can refer questions to larger Bench’ 

  • A nine ­judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court upheld the decision of the five judge Sabarimala Review Bench to refer to a larger Bench questions on the ambit and scope of religious freedom practised by multiple faiths across the country.

  • The nine ­judge Bench said a Bench engaged in the review of a particular judgment could indeed refer other questions of law to a larger Bench. Arguments on merits would be heard.

The Bench also framed seven questions of law which it would decide now. These are:

  1. What is the scope and ambit of religious freedom under Article 25 of the Constitution? 

  2. What is the interplay between religious freedom and rights of religious denominations under Article 26 of the Constitution? 

  3. Whether religious denominations are subject to fundamental rights? 

  4. What is the definition of ‘morality’ used in Articles 25 and 26? 

  5. What is the ambit and scope of judicial review of Article 25? 

  6. What is the meaning of the phrase “sections of Hindus' ' under Article 25 (2)(b)? 

  7. Whether a person not belonging to a religious group can question the practices, beliefs of that group in a PIL petition? 

  • In a majority judgment, did not decide the Sabarimala review cases before it. Instead, it went on to frame“larger issues''concerning essential religious practices of various religions. 

  • It further clubbed other pending cases on subjects as varied as female genital mutilation among the Dawoodi Bohras to entry of Parsi women who married inter­faith into the fire temple and Muslim women into mosques and referred them all to a larger Bench.

  • The reference order also asked the larger Bench to consider the rule pertaining to the prohibition of entry to women of menstruating age into the Sabarimala temple.

  • Fundamental to the judicial process is you apply law to the facts of cases and not decide the law before looking into the facts... Never indulge in the exposition of law outside the realm of the facts of the case.

  • The major ground for seeking a review was the finding in the judgment that Ayyappa devotees did not form a separate religious denomination.

  • When Ayyappa devotees were not found to be a separate denomination, these reference questions on Article 25 [religious freedom] are purely an academic exercise. 

  • It was not necessary to raise these hypothetical questions in reference. The President, and not the CJI, consults the Supreme Court under Article 143 of the Constitution on questions of law and facts.

  • The fact that it was reviewing the Sabarimala judgment did not preclude it from referring to other questions of law and cases with similar issues to a larger Bench.

 ~Source The Hindu

Sabarimala case