The Supreme Court on Thursday, November 14, quashed all review petitions in the Rafale fighter jet deal. The apex court referred the issue of entry of women into Sabarimala temple and other religious places to a larger seven-judge bench. The criminal contempt proceeding against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his "chowkidar chor hai" remark was also closed.
A constitutional bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra delivered their verdict in the Sabarimala case at around 10.30 am. A three-membered bench, comprising CJI Gogoi, and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph pronounced the Rafale verdict after Sabarimala.
The apex court had in September 2018 had allowed entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala Temple. Before the verdict, women and girls of menstruating age were barred from entering the Ayyapa shrine.
On Thursday, the SC will give its judgment on 65 petitions, including 56 review petitions, four writ petitions and five transfer pleas, filed after the state saw widespread violence and attack on women who tried entering the shrine.
In the Rafale case, the apex court will give its final verdict on decisions seeking review of its December 2018 judgment, which gave a clean chit to the Narendra Modi government in the procurement of 36 Rafale jets.
The SC had rejected all pleas seeking a court-monitored probe into the Rs 59,000 crore deal, after controversies of the government bypassing established norms and favouring Anil Ambani arose.
Here are the Live updates of Thursday's SC proceedings:
SC proceedings takeaways
1) The Supreme Court on Thursday said that the review petitions in the Sabarimala case will be referred to a larger 7-judge bench. There will not be any stay of previous judgment.
2) A 3-member SC bench has dismissed all review petitions in the Rafale fighter jet deal.
3) The SC has told Rahul Gandhi to be more careful and closed the proceedings with a word of caution.
Investigating agencies can probe the case: SC on Rafale review petitions
It is open for investigating agencies to take any actions of complaints they have received.
No roving inquiry can be ordered: SC on Rafale review petitions
It is not appropriate for SC to conduct probe in Rafale jet deal.
Rahul Gandhi needs to be more careful in future
"Mr Rahul Gandhi needs to be more careful in future," the SC said for attributing to the court his remarks.
BREAKING | Rahul Gandhi's contempt proceedings closed
Giving a breather to Rahul Gandhi, the SC has closed the contempt proceedings against Rahul Gandhi.
BREAKING | Rafale review petitions dismissed as it lacked merit: SC
Justice Kaul read out the judgment which said that the Rafale review petitions have been dismissed due to lack of evidence.
Rafale review petition dismissed
In a big win for the Modi government, the review petition on Rafale have been dismissed.
Dissenting view of judgment being read out by Justice Nariman
"The decision of SC binds everyone. Govt needs to comply by the SC's judgment," said Justice Nariman, reading the dissenting view.
Request Kerala govt to not trespass the temple: Rahul Easwar
Activist Rahul Easwar said after the judgment that a temple, mosque or church are private places so any government should not try to trespass them.
7-judge bench to examine review petitions
A seven-member SC bench will examine the matters related to Sabarimala verdict.
BREAKING | Review petitions kept pending
The review petitions have been sent to a larger bench and are kept pending.
Sabarimala matter referred to larger bench
Sabarimala matter referred to a larger bench by 3:2. J Chandrachud and Nariman dissent. Review petitions kept pending, reported Live Law.
Power of the court interfere in such integral parts of the religion
"There is yet another seminal issue as to the power of the court to determine if the constitutional court can interfere in such integral parts of the religion," CJI Gogoi said while reading out the judgment on review pleas in Sabarimala case.
CJI Gogoi reading out the verdict
"Endeavour of the petitioner is to revive the debate on what is an integral part of the religion," said the CJI.
The Sabarimala row: In a nutshell
The Sabarimala temple in Kerala embroiled into a controversy last year when the Supreme Court passed the verdict allowing the entry of women. Days after the SC verdict, the Kerala government confirmed that Bindu and Kanakadurga did indeed enter the temple in the early hours of January 2. The aftermath of this led to protests, closing down if the Sabarimala temple in order to purify it and a shutdown in the state of Kerala.
Others also attempted to enter the temple since the verdict. However, due to the massive protests and the threats of violence, they couldn't do so.
Just like Ram Lalla, we are fighting for Ayyappa's right: Rahul Easwar
Rahul Easwar, who has been spearheading the fight against the judgement in the Sabarimala temple said in an interview with India Tdoay, "Just like the Sri Ram Lalla deity has rights in Ayodhya, we are arguing for Ayyappa's right in Sabarimala."
State government is bound to implement SC verdict: Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan
"The Supreme Court verdict regarding the Sabarimala women entry is the one related to that of the fundamental rights. The state government is bound to implement the apex court order," CM Pinarayi Vijayan said last week. adding that it was not possible to bring in any legislation to circumvent the Sabarimala verdict.
Sabarimala verdict: Security arrangements in Kerala
Ahead of the verdict on review petitions in the Sabarimala case, Kerala Police have made elaborate security arrangements and has planned to deploy over 10,000 officers in and around Sabarimala for the Mandala Pooja festival.
The deployment will be done over five phases starting from November 15. The temple will open on November 16 for the three-month-long pilgrimage season.
The Kerala police release said that 24 Superintendents of Police and Assistant Superintendents of Police, 112 Deputy SPs, 264 Inspectors, 1185 Sub-Inspectors will be posted. Also, a total of 8,402 civil police officers, including 307 women, will be on duty around the shrine complex.
What is the contempt plea against Rahul Gandhi about?
The Supreme Court will deliver its verdict in the contempt plea filed by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi for wrongly attributing to the SC his "chowkidar chor hai" remark in the Rafale case against PM Modi.
Given that the Congress had made Rafale an election issue, Rahul Gandhi had used the remark several times in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
On April 10, Rahul Gandhi attributed the remark to SC when the apex court had dismissed the Centre's objections over the admissibility of certain documents in support fo the Rafale review petitions.
Following this, Meenakshi Lekhi filed a contempt case against Rahul Gandhi. A bench comprising Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph had on May 10 reserved the judgement.
Rahul Gandhi had tendered an unconditional apology and told the court he held it in the "highest esteem and respect" and any attributions to it were "entirely unintentional, non-wilful and inadvertent".
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Lekhi, had submitted that the apology tendered by Gandhi should be rejected and action must be taken against him as per the law.