CJI headed 9-judge SC bench to hear Sabarimala issue

The Supreme Court formed a nine-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice S.A Bobde to hear from January 13 the issue of allowing women and girls of all ages to enter Kerala's Sabarimala temple, along with the other contentious issues of alleged discrimination against Muslim and Parsi women.

The other judges on the bench are Justices R. Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan, L. Nageswara Rao, M.M Shantanagoudar, S.A Nazeer, R. Subhash Reddy, B.R Gavai and Surya Kant.

The nine-judge bench has been set up after a five-judge bench headed by then CJI Ranjan Gogoi, by a 3:2 majority verdict, referred the matter to a seven-judge bench while examining the review petition filed against the historic September 28, 2018 judgement which had allowed women of all ages to enter Sabarimala temple.

Besdies Justice Gogoi, Justices A.M Khanwilkar and Indu Malhotra (the lone woman judge on the bench) were in majority while Justices R.F Nariman and D.Y Chandrachud had penned a minority verdict on November 14, 2019.

On the nine-judge bench, which will hear the matter from January 13, there are no judges from the previous benches.