Sabarimala review petitions: Nine-judge bench named, none from original bench included

New Delhi: The nine-judge Constitution bench of Supreme Court, that will hear the issue of allowing women and girls of all ages to enter Sabarimala temple along with other contentious issues of alleged discrimination against Muslim and Parsi women on January 13, have been notified.

The bench comprises of Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, Justice R Banumathi, Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice L Nageswara Rao, Justice Mohan M Shatanagoudar, Justice S Abdul Nazeer, Justice R Subhash Reddy, Justice B R Gavai and Justice Surya Kant.

It is to be noted that the bench includes none from the original bench that had delivered the verdict allowing women of all ages to the temple on September 28, 2018.

Justices A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud, R F Nariman and Indu Malhotra- are included in the review bench.

On November 14, last year, a five-judge constitution bench in a 3:2 majority verdict had referred to a larger 7-judge bench, the pleas seeking review of its historic 2018 judgement allowing women and girls of all ages to enter Sabarimala temple.

It had however said that the debate about the constitutional validity of religious practices like bar on entry of women and girls into a place of worship was not limited to the Sabarimala case.

The top court said such restrictions are there with regard to entry of Muslim women into mosques and 'dargah' and Parsi women, married to non-Parsi men, being barred from the holy fire place of an Agyari.

It said that it was time for the apex court to evolve a judicial policy to do "substantial and complete justice".

(With inputs from PTI)

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