The Supreme Court judgment to refer the Sabarimala verdict that it had passed in September 2018, to a larger bench is unfortunate.
It is even surprising that such a verdict was pronounced on a bunch of review petitions. The review right is invoked only when there is an evident flaw or error in the earlier verdict.
A review petition is not supposed to seek a change in the earlier verdict just, unlike in appeals. Even if such appeals are filed, courts generally do not entertain them.
However, such conventional legal concepts seem to have been ignored in the Sabarimala case. A judge, who in the earlier verdict had supported entry of women, has this time recommended referring the matter to a larger bench. This is an obvious deviation from accepted legal principles.
However, it is a matter of relief that there is no stay on the original verdict and two judges stuck to their original judgment.
A message that even verdicts of the constitutional benches are not steady is not comfortable. However, the Supreme Court has conveyed such a message. That is why this verdict is disappointing.
As the original verdict has not been stayed, all women can legally enter Sabarimala. As the case has been referred to a larger bench, it would be fit to wait for a new judgment.