In next fifteen days four important judgments will be delivered by the benches of the Supreme Court headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi. The verdict on the Ayodhya land dispute is one of them.The Ayodhya dispute has a chequered history. The litigation has been going on since 1885. In 1934 a communal riot in Ayodhya had damaged the three domes of the Babri Mosque and it had to be reconstructed by the British with money raised by imposing fines on Hindu residents of the town.
Litigation over the structure resumed afresh in 1950 after idols were placed under the central dome on the intervening night of December 22-23, 1949. A Hindu devotee, Gopal Singh Visharad, had filed a suit in 1950 seeking the right to worship the idols under the central dome. Nirmohi Akhara, which seeks priestly rights, filed a suit in 1959 followed by a suit by Sunni Waqf Board in 1961. The deity, through next friend, filed a suit in 1989.
The Five Judge Constitution Bench will pen a new research in the lengthy history of Ayodhya land dispute. The other case pending verdict before a three-judge CJI headed bench is the review petitions challenging the Supreme Court’s judgment rendered last year giving a clean chit to the NDA Government on purchase of 36 fully loaded Rafale fighter jets from France under an inter-governmental agreement. The bench had reserved its judgments on May 10 on the petitions seeking a CBI inquiry into alleged corruption and irregularities in the deal.
Another five-judge CJI-led constitution bench had reserved its verdict on April 4 on an appeal filed by the Supreme Court registry again a Delhi High Court judgment, on the partition by RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agarwal, allowing the CJI’s office to be brought under the ambit of RTI Act.
A Five- judge bench headed by CJI will deliver judgment on petitions seeking review of the Supreme Court’s judgments allowing entry of women of all ages into Sabarimala Ayyappa temple.This bench had reserved its verdict on February 6 on 65 petitions.
-Justice Shiv Kumar Sharma
Former Judge Rajasthan High Court and Ex-Member of Law Commission of India
(The views expressed by the author are personal)