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From January 13, SC's 9-Judge Bench to Hear Issue of Women's Entry into Sabarimala Shrine

Dealing with the contentious issue of Sabarimala, the top court had on December 13 last year said that it would endeavour to constitute the larger bench at the earliest to hear the matter.

News18.com

Updated:January 6, 2020, 6:19 PM IST
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From January 13, SC's 9-Judge Bench to Hear Issue of Women's Entry into Sabarimala Shrine
A five-judge constitution bench had lifted the ban on entry of women of menstrual age into the shrine last year (News18 Creative by Mir Suhail)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday set up a nine-judge bench to hear cases related to entry of women of menstruating age into Sabarimala shrine. The bench will begin presiding over the case from January 13.

Dealing with the contentious issue of Sabarimala, the top court had on December 13 last year said that it would endeavour to constitute the larger bench at the earliest to hear the matter, while declining to pass any order on the pleas by two women activists seeking a direction to the Kerala government to ensure safe entry of women in the Ayyappa temple under police protection.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde had said that the issue was "very emotive" and it did not want the situation to become "explosive". It had said the "balance of convenience" required that no orders are passed in the mater as the issue had already been referred to a 7-judge bench.

On November 14, a five-judge Constitution bench headed by then CJI Ranjan Gogoi, in a 3:2 majority verdict, had referred the pleas seeking a review of its historic 2018 judgment to a seven-judge bench, along with other contentious issues of alleged discrimination against Muslim and Parsi women.

In September 2018, a five-judge Constitution bench had, by a majority 4:1 verdict, allowed girls and women of all ages to visit the Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala, saying discrimination on physiological grounds was violative of the fundamental rights as enshrined in the Constitution, such as the right to equality.

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