With 5 posers, SC sends Sabari­mala case to 5-judge Con­sti­tu­tion bench

Govt told to set up panel on ‘Blue Whale’

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES NATION - Dhanan­jay Ma­ha­p­a­tra

New Delhi: The SC on Fri­day re­ferred to a five-judge Con­sti­tu­tion bench pe­ti­tions seek­ing to scrap the Sabari­mala tem­ple’s cus­tom­ary ban on the en­try of women aged 10-50 years, that is, those in the men­stru­at­ing age, terming the is­sue sig­nif­i­cant. A bench of CJI Di­pak Misra and Jus­tice R Banu­mathi and Jus­tice Ashok Bhushan noted both sides’ ar­gu­ments and framed five ques­tions for the Con­sti­tu­tion bench to de­lib­er­ate.

Whether the ex­clu­sion­ary prac­tice, based upon a bi­o­log­i­cal fac­tor ex­clu­sive to the fe­male gen­der, amounts to “dis­crim­i­na­tion”, and thereby vi­o­lates the very The

SC on Fri­day sought in two weeks the Cen­tre’s re­sponse on a PIL seek­ing a ban on Blue Whale. Apart from the ‘killer’ game, pe­ti­tioner ad­vo­cate Sneha Kalita also drew the court’s at­ten­tion to other on­line games aimed at self-harm, namely ‘A Silent House’, ‘A Sea of Whales’ and ‘Wake Me Up at 4.20 am’, which could pose a se­ri­ous threat to young­sters. A bench of CJI Di­pak Misra and Jus­tices A M Khan­wilkar and D Y Chan­drachud di­rected the Cen­tre to ur­gently set up an ex­pert body to study the prob­lem and sug­gest reg­u­la­tory mea­sures. The SC posted the case for fur­ther hear­ing on Oc­to­ber 27. core of Ar­ti­cles 14, 15 and 17 of the Con­sti­tu­tion, and is not pro­tected by “moral­ity” as used in Ar­ti­cles 25 and 26?

Whether the prac­tice con­sti­tutes an “es­sen­tial re­li­gious prac­tice” un­der Ar­ti­cle 25, and whether a re­li­gious in­sti­tu­tion can as­sert a claim in that re­gard un­der the um­brella of right to man­age its own af­fairs in the mat­ters of re­li­gion?

Whether the Ayyappa tem­ple has a de­nom­i­na­tional char­ac­ter and, if so, is it per­mis­si­ble on the part of a ‘re­li­gious de­nom­i­na­tion’, man­aged by a statu­tory board and fi­nanced un­der Ar­ti­cle 290A of the Con­sti­tu­tion out of the Con­sol­i­dated Fund of Ker­ala and Tamil Nadu, to in­dulge in such prac­tices, vi­o­lat­ing con­sti­tu­tional prin­ci­ples/moral­ity em­bed­ded in Ar­ti­cles 14, 15 (3), 39(a) and 51A(e)?

Whether Rule 3 of the Ker­ala Hindu Places of Pub­lic Wor­ship (Au­tho­ri­sa­tion of En­try) Rules, 1965, per­mits a ‘re­li­gious de­nom­i­na­tion’ to ban the en­try of women aged 10 to 50 years? And, if so, would it not run foul of Ar­ti­cles 14 and 15(3) of the Con­sti­tu­tion by re­strict­ing en­try on the grounds of sex?

Whether Rule 3(b) is ul­tra vires the Ker­ala Hindu Places of Pub­lic Wor­ship (Au­tho­ri­sa­tion of En­try) Act, 1965, and, if treated to be in­tra vires, whether it will be vi­ola­tive of the pro­vi­sions of Part III of the Con­sti­tu­tion?

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