Right to religion: SC explains reference to larger Bench-THE HINDU-12-05-2020


In February 2020, the nine-judge Bench dismissed the objections and decided to hear the reference. It had, however, postponed the publication of the detailed judgment.The nine-judge Bench has not been able to hear the case as the nation went into a lockdown.

The recent declaration came in a judgment explaining why the Bench (three months ago) decided to go ahead and examine “larger issues” of religious freedom across multiple faiths in connection with the Sabarimala review.
The 29-page judgment of the Bench dismissed objections to its powers of reference.

On November 14, 2019, a five-judge Bench led by the then Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi did not complete its assigned task of reviewing the court’s original Sabarimala judgment of 2018, which allowed women of every age to enter and worship at the temple.

Instead, it had framed “larger issues” concerning essential religious practices of various religions and clubbed other pending cases on subjects as varied as female genital mutilation among Dawoodi Bohras to entry of Parsi women who married inter-faith into the fire temple, and Muslim women into mosques and referred them all to a larger Bench.

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