Centre suggests setting up even larger bench to decide whether SC can refer questions of law

ANI | Updated: Feb 06, 2020 12:22 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 6 (ANI): A nine-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde, on Thursday started hearing arguments on the issue whether the apex court can refer questions of law to a larger bench on a review petition.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Central government, told the court that there are questions in the matter which require to be adjudicated by this court and the issue has to be dealt with in a proper manner.
"Let the matter be referred to a larger bench for adjudication. You are my lord. You have to take a decision keeping on the point on a larger view. The case can be sent to a larger bench so that the matter can be put to a final settlement and the issues raised out of the controversy in the case can be final," Mehta said.
He asked what should be the strength of judges adding that normally a five-judge bench could be a good thing, but it is up to the judges to take a decision in this regard.
"Legal compulsions can't be limited, new areas calling for judicial scrutiny can be taken into consideration," Mehta told the court.
The bench is hearing matters relating to discrimination against women in various religions including Kerala's Sabarimala temple, mosques, the practice of female genital mutilation in the Dawoodi Bohra community and Parsi women married to non-Parsi men being barred from its holy fire temple.
Last year, a five-judge Constitution bench had referred to a larger bench the issues relating to the constitutional validity of religious practices like barring entry of women and girls into a place of worship.
It had observed that the issue of the Constitutional validity of religious practices like barring entry of women and girls into a place of worship was not limited to the Sabarimala case. (ANI)