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New Delhi, January 28, 2020
The Supreme Court on Tuesday said the nine-judge Bench would wrap arguments within 10 days in the matter connected with discrimination against women at religious places in various religions, including the Kerala's Sabarimala Temple.
A bench, headed by Chief Justice S. A. Bobde and comprising Justices B.R. Gavai and Surya Kant, said only legal questions would be dealt with, and it would spend more time in concluding the hearing. "Even if someone wants more time, it can't be given," it said.
The apex court's observation came on Solicitor General Tushar Mehta's submissions that according to the court's direction at an earlier hearing, the meeting of lawyers could not finalise the common legal questions for the nine-judge Bench to examine. "We could not finalise common questions for the consideration. The top court may consider framing questions (under these circumstances)," Mehta said.
The court asked Mehta to place before it the issues discussed at the lawyers' meeting.
On January 13, the Supreme Court clarified that it was not hearing the Sabarimala review and instead focused on examining the larger issues of law, like the prohibition on women's entry to mosques and temples; genital mutilation among Dawoodi Bohras, and the ban on Parsi women married outside the faith from entering the fire temple.
The court clarified that it would not delve into the legality of issues associated with the practice of polygamy and 'nikah-halala' in Islam.
To streamline the process of examining the legal issues, the Chief Justice asked lawyers to hold a conference on January 17 to frame questions on law, which would be examined by the nine-judge Bench.
The court posted the case for hearing after three weeks.