#Sabarimala: Supreme Court allows open court hearing of review petitions against its Sept 28 constitution bench judgment

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Supreme Court of India has today, November 13, 2018, agreed to grant open court hearing in a batch of review petitions against the five-judge constitution bench decision on September 28, 2018 allowing women’s entry into Sabarimala temple in the State of Kerala. Groups/organisations namely Nair Service Society, Pandalam Kottaram Nirvahka Sangam People for Dharma have approached the Supreme Court seeking review of the decision permitting women’s entry into Sabarimala temple

A total of 49 review petitions along with the applications praying for open court hearing, were circulated in the chamber of the Chief Justice of India, for the perusal of CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwaliker, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra who allowed all application praying for the hearing the review petitions in open court. Now the matter will be heard on January 22, 2019 in the open court to enable the petitioners in the review petitions to present oral arguments to make out the case for the review of the decision of the Supreme Court permitting women’s into Sabarimala temple.

It may be noted that the Supreme Court at the same time has also made it clear that it has not stayed the decision of the five-judge constitution bench comprising then CJI Dipak Misra, Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwaliker, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra,  in Indian Young Lawyer Association v. State of Kerala and others wherein the court decided in favour of women of the age between 10 to 50 years who were denied admission in the Sabrimala temple on account of their being menstruating.

It may also be born in mind that today’s order is only about the applications seeking open court hearing i.e. oral arguments before the court to make the case for the review, that court has allowed. There is nothing beyond that court has said except additionally making it clear that while granting open court hearing, court has not stayed the operation of the judgment that is being sought to be reviewed.

Supreme Court of India is vested with the power of review its own judgment under Article 137 of the Constitution of India read with Order XLVII, Supreme Court Rules, 2013 rules that inter-alia provide: Unless otherwise ordered by the Court an application for review shall be disposed of by circulation without any oral arguments, but the petitioner may supplement his petition by additional written arguments. The Court may either dismiss the petition or direct notice to the opposite party. An application for review shall as far as practicable be circulated to the same Judge or Bench of Judges that delivered the judgment or order sought to be reviewed”. Review jurisdiction is invoked when there is an error apparent on the face of the records.             

Read the Supreme Court order.


The Leaflet