Review petition (civil) No. 3358/2018

Provisions Involved

Article 25 and 26 of the Indian Constitution


It is a review petition of Writ Petition (civil) No. 373/2006. On 28 September 2018, it was held that the Sabarimala Temple’s exclusionary custom is unconstitutional with a majority of 4:1. It was a custom which prohibited women between the age of 10 to 50 years from entering the temple. The judgment held that the custom violated the fundamental right to freedom of religion of female worshippers under article 25 of the Constitution. 

There were many review petitions filed by various individuals and organisations, which also included Kantaru Rajeevan. The court started hearing review petitions on 13 November 2018 and the bench delivered its judgment on 14 November 2019.


  • What is the scope and ambit of Right to Freedom under Article 25 of the Constitution of India?
  • Whether the Freedom of Religion interacts with the Right to Equality under Article 14?
  • What is the scope of the expression ‘sections of Hindus’ as mentioned in Article 25(2)(b)?
  • Whether the essential religious practice of a religious denomination is protected?


The majority opinion starts off by listing the main arguments raised by the review petitioners. Basically, the petitioners argued that providing a religious practice is not against public order, morality, health or any fundamental rights, the religious groups should be free to practice their religious belief in a way they feel fit. The bench also mentioned that Article 25 and 26 lays down the Right to Religion of an individual. 

There were various arguments raised by the review petitioners and observed that these submissions had been raised even during the hearings leading up to the 2018 judgment. Hence, the arguments did not find any errors in the 2018 Judgment and were either ambiguous or a mere repetition of the previous arguments.


The Supreme Court directed the Kerala Government to take steps to secure the confidence of the community in order to ensure the fulfillment of constitutional values. It also ordered that consultations be held with “representatives of all affected interests” so that all steps taken to implement the order are met with the concerns of “all segments of the community”.