Welcoming the Supreme Court's decision to refer the "vexed" Sabarimala issue to a larger bench, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Thursday said issues involved have implications for the practice of all faiths. In its statement on the Sabarimala case, the top court had said a seven-judge bench will re-examine various religious issues, including the entry of women into the Sabarimala temple and mosques and the practice of female genital mutilation in the Dawoodi Bohra community.
Hailing the court's decision, Tharoor said, "I welcome the SC's decision to refer the vexed #Sabarimala issue to a larger bench…The issues involved have implications for the practice of all faiths," said Tharoor, who is an MP from Thiruvananthapuram.
While the five-judge bench unanimously agreed to refer the religious issues to a larger bench, it gave a 3:2 split decision on petitions seeking a review of the apex court's September 2018 decision allowing women of all ages to enter the Sabarimala shrine in Kerala.
The judgement in Sabarimala case was pronounced by a CJI Ranjan Gogoi-led bench which also included Justices A.M. Khanwilkar, Rohinton Nariman, Indu Malhotra and DY Chandrachud.
Delivering the judgement, Chief Justice of India Gogoi said, "The entry of women into places of worship is not limited to this temple only. It is also involved in the entry of women into mosques."
A five-judge constitution bench of Supreme Court by 3-2 majority referred to a 7-judge bench to consider the Supreme Court's earlier decision of quashing the custom barring entry of women of 10-50 age group into Sabarimala Ayyappa temple.
The Supreme Court majority verdict did not say anything adverse against the apex court's September 28, 2018 decision allowing women to enter the shrine nor did it stay the earlier judgement.