In what is the most important verdict in the recent history of the Supreme Court, the apex court on Saturday allowed construction of Ram Mandir on the disputed land of Ayodhya while also saying that an alternate land of 5 acres will be given to Muslims. The Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case stands as the second-longest heard case in the SC.
The court has given the central government 3 months to formulate a scheme for the trust that will make necessary regulations for the management of the trust.
The court said that until the trust takes over it, the p
The 5-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, which includes Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer, had reserved the judgement on October 16 after a marathon hearing of 40 days.
Until Friday evening, there was no clarity on the date of the judgement apart from the fact that it would be delivered before CJI Ranjan Gogoi retires on November 17. However, the decision to pronounce the verdict on Saturday came after Justice Gogoi met top Uttar Pardesh officials reportedly to discuss the security arrangements.
While is clear that Justice Gogoi is indeed ending his term with a bang with the judgement on debatably the most important case in Independent India's history, there are other key verdicts too lined up for him after the Ayodhya ruling.
Here's a look at them:
The petitioners in the case had sought a review of the Supreme Court verdict which dismissed the plea which challenged India’s agreement with France in the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets. The review petition, jointly filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan, former Union Ministers Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha, is seeking an investigation into the Rafale deal on the basis of secret “stolen documents”. Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, on the other hand, has sought a dismissal of the review petitions.
A Review Bench headed by Chief Justice Gogoi, which includes four other judges, is likely to either uphold or set aside the order which allowed menstruating women to worship at the Sabarimala temple in Kerala. As many as 65 petitions were filed questioning the authority of the court to intervene in the matter which involves a “centuries-old” belief that the Sabarimala deity is a “Naishtika Brahmachari”.
Contempt case against Rahul Gandhi
The CJI is also likely to announce the judgement on a criminal contempt plea filed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi against former Congress president Rahul Gandhi for attributing the “chowkidaar chor hai” remark to the apex court.
Gandhi had, however, apologised for “wrongly attributing” the remarks and had requested for the criminal contempt proceedings against him to be closed.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, arguing on behalf of Lekhi, had told the bench that Gandhi's apology should be rejected and action must be taken against him.
The constitutional validity of Finance Act 2017
In April, a bench led by Gogoi reserved its judgement on a number of petitions that challenged the Constitutional validity of the Finance Act 2017 arguing that it was passed by Parliament as a money bill.
One of the pleas alleged that the Centre was taking over the rights to decide the terms and conditions of tribunal members.
The Centre, however, has contended that the Finance Act 2017 was referred to as a money bill as it had provisions to deal with salaries and allowance to be paid to members of all tribunals.
If CJI should come under RTI
The apex court will also pronounce if the office of Chief Justice of India should fall under the ambit of the Right To Information (RTI) Act. The Supreme Court secretary-general had filed a plea challenging the January 2010 verdict of the Delhi High Court ruling that the CJI’s office was a “public authority” and that it should come under the RTI act.
First Published: IST