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Sabarimala case: Can refer questions of review jurisdiction to larger Bench, says Apex court

PTI New Delhi | Updated on February 10, 2020

File photo   -  The Hindu

The Supreme Court on Monday 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 court proposes to hear on a daily basis from February 17 questions framed on the scope of freedom in various religions.

The seven questions framed by the Bench include those on the scope and ambit of religious freedom, and the interplay between religious freedom and freedom of beliefs of religious denominations.

The court said its nine-judge Bench will deal with the right to freedom of religion under Article 25 of the Constitution and its interplay with the right of various religious denominations. It will also deal with the extent of judicial review with regard to religious practices and the meaning of “sections of Hindus” occurring in Article 25 (2)(b) of the Constitution.

The Supreme Court will also deal with the power of a person, who does not belong to a particular religion or sect of a religion, to question the religious beliefs of that religion by filling a PIL.

The Apex Court asked lawyers representing various parties to give information as to who they are representing and the Bench then would allot time to them for advancing arguments.

It said Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, would open the arguments followed by senior advocate K Parasaran on February 17.

Published on February 10, 2020

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