CJI’s courtroom witnesses rare site on judgment day in Ayodhya case
It was a rare sight in the Supreme Court as a large number of lawyers, litigants and media persons jostled to enter court number 1 where a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi pronounced the historic verdict in the politically and religiously sensitive Ayodhya land dispute case on Saturday.
The judgement was scheduled to be delivered at 10:30 AM but lawyers representing various parties and journalists have started reaching the apex court two hours in advance.
Lawyers and scribes passed their time clicking photos.
All had to wait till 10:15 before the three doors of the CJI’s courtroom were opened one by one by security personnel.
Once the entry was allowed, people lost their patience and started jostling to enter the courtroom. The 15-minute wait in the courtroom before the five judges assembled witnessed a chaotic atmosphere and the noise level was very high.
However, once the five judges assembled on the dias, a minute before 10:30 AM, normalcy started returning and Chief Justice Gogoi, before pronouncing the judgement, commanded all to maintain silence.
“I request you all to maintain silence,” said the CJI and there was a pin drop silence in the majestic courtroom.
He was the first to sign the voluminous judgement followed by Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer. Before reading the operative portion of the 1,045-page of the judgement, Justice Gogoi said, “It is a unanimous judgement.” The CJI said he would take around “half-an-hour” to read the judgement of the five-judge constitution bench.
However, reading of the judgement, which was later described by Justice Bobde as “elaborate”, went for 45 minutes.
Once the pronouncement was over and the judges left the dias, the situation prevailing before the assembly of judges returned and the noise level went up.
Some of the lawyers and litigants came out of the courtroom and raised slogans, including “Jai Sri Ram”, while some lawyers were seen deliberating about the judgement and scribes flashing newsalerts.
Team of lawyers for various parties also took group photographs on the rampart, just outside court number 1.
Later the focus shifted to the lawns of the apex court, earmarked for general public and video journalists where the supporters of temple raised slogans of “Jai Sri Ram”.