Sabarimala case: SC says it can refer questions of law to larger bench

Sabarimala temple
The Supreme Court in a landmark judgment in 2018 had allowed women of all ages to visit the ancient shrine, breaking years of tradition barring the entry of women in the age group of 10 to 50. Photo: PTI

The Supreme Court on Monday (February 10) held that its five-judge bench can refer questions of law to a larger bench while exercising its limited power under review jurisdiction in the Sabarimala case.

A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde framed seven questions to be heard by a nine-judge Constitutional bench on issues relating to freedom of religion under the Constitution and faith.

The seven questions framed by the bench include:

  1. Ambit and scope of religious freedom
  2. Interplay between rights of people under Article 25 and the rights of religious denominations under Article 26 of the Constitution of India
  3. Whether rights of religious denomination are subject to other provisions of Part III of the Constitution
  4. Scope and extent of morality under Articles 25 and 26 and whether it includes Constitutional morality
  5. Whether religious denominations enjoy fundamental rights
  6. Meaning of expression “section of Hindus” under Article 25(2)(b)
  7. Whether a person not belonging to a religious group can question practice of that religious group by filing a PIL.

(With PTI inputs)