SC may refer Sabarimala issue to constitution bench

It may refer the question whether the constitutional right to equality of a woman could be raised to "interfere" with the religious beliefs and customs denying entry to women in Sabarimala temple to its constitution bench.

SC may refer Sabarimala issue to constitution bench



The Supreme Court on Monday indicated that it may refer a plea for allowing the entry of women aged between 10 and 50 years in Kerala's Sabarimala temple to a five-judge constitution bench.

A bench of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice R Banumathi and Justice Ashok Bhushan reserved its verdict on the plea seeking the reference of the issue to a constitution bench as it involved important questions of law and the interpretation of the Constitution.

It gave both sides -- petitioner Indian Young Lawyers Association for the opening of the temple gates to women and Travancore Devaswom Board and others opposing the plea -- a week's time to file their written submissions.

The top court had in July 11, 2016, hearing indicated that it may refer the question whether the constitutional right to equality of a woman could be raised to "interfere" with the religious beliefs and customs denying entry to women in Sabarimala temple to its constitution bench.

The question was whether women's right to equality before law guaranteed under Article 14 could be invoked in the face of the freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion guaranteed under Article 25 and Freedom to manage religious affairs guaranteed under Article 26 of the Constitution.