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Sabarimala will get precedence, CAA and Article 370 can wait: Supreme Court | India News


NEW DELHI: A nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Monday indicated that adjudication of the faith vs fundamental rights issue arising from women’s entry into the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple and mosques would take precedence over hearing of petitions challenging the validity of Citizenship (Amendment) Act and scrapping of J&K ’s special status under Article 370.

The bench, headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde, said, “Sabarimala is a older problem and it will be decided first. CAA and Article 370 issue pending before other benches will be decided later.”

The CJI’s observation came when senior advocates Indira Jaising and Rajeev Dhavan said deferring the hearing on faith vs fundamental rights issue could clash with the hearing on petitions challenging CAA and scrapping of J&K’s special status, both pending before different benches, and make it difficult for advocates who are also engaged to argue the latter two issues.

A bench headed by the CJI had entertained a large number of petitions challenging the validity of CAA and had asked the Centre to file its response by January 22, the next date of hearing. A five-judge bench headed by Justice N V Ramana was scheduled to resume hearing on January 21 on a bunch of petitions challenging the validity of the Centre’s August 5 decision to strip J&K of its special status under Article 370 and divide it into two UTs.

The nine-judge bench hearing the faith vs fundamental rights issue has many judges who are part of the other two benches scheduled to hear the CAA and Kashmir issues.

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