February 6, 2020 4:51:00 am
A nine-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court constituted to hear the Sabarimala reference will on Thursday consider arguments on the question whether a reference can be made from a pending review petition.
A notice said the bench will consider the question “whether this court can refer questions of law to a larger bench in a review petition”.
A five-judge Constitution bench headed by the then CJI Ranjan Gogoi had on September 19, 2019 decided to keep the review petitions challenging its September 28, 2018 judgment lifting age restrictions on the entry of women to the temple pending till a larger bench took a call on certain questions arising from it.
The court noted that petitions seeking entry of women to Mosques, challenging Female Genital Mutilation among Dawaoodi Bohras and certain practises in the Parsi community were pending before it and the questions in the Sabarimala matter may impact these too.
On February 3 when the 9-judge bench met to consider what issues should be taken up, Senior Advocate F S Nariman had questioned the reference saying the court could not have done such a thing as the scope of a review petition is very limited.
The bench then asked Nariman if he was trying to say that while deciding on a review in a matter, court cannot refer questions to a larger bench with questions that have already risen in another case. “Yes, that’s outside the scope of review,” said Nariman.
Other counsel appearing in the matter urged the court to hear this objection first.
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