Verdict out, CJI Gogoi takes Ayodhya Bench for dinner
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi took the other members of the five-judge bench, which delivered the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid judgment, to dinner on Saturday night.
The other judges on the bench are justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer. CJI Gogoi announced the dinner soon after the verdict was delivered on Saturday morning and he took upon himself to take them out to the Taj Mansingh hotel.
Gogoi, who took over as the 46th CJI, is due to retire on November 17. Justice Bobde will be sworn in as the 47th CJI a day after Gogoi superannuates.
The hearings in the sensitive case began on August 6 after a mediation attempt initiated by the court “to heal hearts and minds” failed to deliver.
The five-judge bench held a marathon 40-day hearing. And it took them less than a month to deliver the verdict that runs into 1,045 pages.
The case was a close second to the longest-heard case in the top court – the historic 1973 Kesavananda Bharti case.
The bench’s unanimous verdict, whose operative part took around 30 minutes to read out in court, ended a contentious decades-old dispute. The verdict cleared the way for the construction of Ram Temple on the disputed site in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya as the bench accorded possessory title to Ram Lalla, the child deity.
But the court also ordered five acres of land at an alternative site to the Sunni Central Waqf board in Ayodhya.