A nine-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court on Monday said that it will only hear the questions referred in the review order passed by it in November last year in the Sabarimala temple case, which allowed women and girls of all age groups to visit the shrine in Kerala.
The new bench constituted in the matter is headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde. The other judges on the bench are Justices R Banumathi, L Nageswara Rao, Ashok Bhushan, Mohan M Shantanagoudar, S Abdul Nazeer, R Subhash Reddy, BR Gavai and Surya Kant.
There are more than 50 review petitions, which had challenged the judgement of the top court allowing the entry of women of all ages in the Sabarimala temple in Kerala. The petitions are pending before the apex court for final disposal.
Two other judges, Justices RF Nariman and DY Chandrachud, who ruled in favour of the entry of girls and women in the age group of 10-50 years in Sabarimala temple, are not part of the new bench. Justice Indu Malhotra, the sole dissenting and only woman judge in the bench which ruled that women are permitted to visit the shrine is also not a part of the new bench.
The top court had on January 6 issued a notice informing about the listing.
On December 13 last year, the Supreme Court had said that its 2018 order on Sabarimala temple issue was "not final" as the matter is pending before a seven-judge bench, which, it had said, will be constituted soon.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Bobde had made these observations while passing an order on a petition filed by two activists -- Bindu Ammini and Fathima A S -- seeking safe passage for women inside the shrine.
In 2018, the apex court had allowed girls and women of all age groups to visit the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala in Kerala, following which a batch of review petitions was filed.
Allowing their review petitions, the court had on November 14 referred the matter to a larger bench.
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