BY- VERSHA SINGH
Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi has his retirement on 17 November 2019. Before his retirement he has to deliver important judgments in 6 very important cases in the last 8 days of his service.The important cases include the most awaited judgment regarding the Ayodhya- Babri Masjid dispute, the Rafale Review Verdict, Sabarimala Verdict, Contempt plea against Rahul Gandhi for attributing “Chowkidaar Chor Hain” remark to SC, Application of RTI to CJI’s office, Validity of finance Act 2017 affecting powers and structures of tribunals and Conspiracy plot against CJI in sexual harassment case. Out of which the Ayodhya Dispute Verdict is to be Pronounced Today.
CURRENT ISSUE :
The Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi will retired on 17th November 2019. Before his retirement he will be delivering important judgments in the six very important cases. The Supreme Court will resume working post- Diwali break from 4 November 2019.
The cases include:
AYODHYA LAND DISPUTE
The most awaited and also the second largest Verdict in the history of Supreme Court which is on Ayodhya dispute will be Pronounced Today (09/11/2019) at 10:30am. Fourteen appeals have been filed until now in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court Judgment, delivered in 4 civil suits, that the 2.77 acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned and should be equally distributed among the 3 parties- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. After the hearing, both the parties were given the liberty to file written submissions on moulding the relief. On the last day of the hearing, reports came out stating that the Chairman of Sunni Waqf Board agreed to settle the dispute by giving up on the claim for mosque, later this was denied by the Muslim parties by issuing a joint statement. The statement was concluded by saying “ Accordingly, we must make it absolutely clear that we the appellants before Supreme Court do not accept the proposal made which has been leaked out to the Press, nor the procedure by which the mediation has taken place nor the manner in which a withdrawal of the claim has been suggested as a compromise.” The bench comprises of 5 judges, presided by CJI Gogoi. The Hindu parties contented that the entire land has juristic personality as the birth place of Lord Rama, whereas the Muslim parties says that on the basis of mere belief that the land was the birthplace of Lord Rama will not confer its juristic personality. The reference given by both the parties were based on the reports of the Archaeological Survey of India on the point that whether the mosque was built over an existing temple or not.
RAFALE REVIEW VERDICT
On 10 May 2019, the bench comprising of CJI Gogoi, Justice SK Kaul and Justice KM Joseph had reserved orders on the review petitions against a verdict of December 14, which had declined to order probe into the corruption allegations in the Rafale deal. The review petitions were filed by Advocate Prashant Bhushan and former Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie. The petitions reliance was based on certain documents leaked by the media so as to argue that the Government has been suppressing material information from the court w.r.t to the deal to procure 36 fighter jets from French Company Dassault. On 10 April 2019, the bench rejected Centre’s preliminary objections against examining documents leaked by the newspapers. The Attorney General KK Venugopal argued that there has been a violation of OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT because the documents were obtained without any authorisation. But the preliminary objection was rejected by the bench because illegality in obtaining evidence diod not affect its admissibility in court proceedings, if they are proved to be relevant.
CONTEMPT PLEA AGAINST RAHUL GANDHI FOR ATTRIBUTING “CHOWKIDAAR CHOR HAIN” REMARK TO SC
On 10 May, the RAFALE bench which was headed by CJI Gogoi reserved orders in a contempt petition filed against Congress President Rahul Gandhi by BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi for attributing “CHOWKIDAAR CHOR HAIN’ remarks to the Supreme Court related to its verdict given on 10 April. Later, the Congress Chief apologised saying that the argument was made in the heat of the moment during the campaigning for elections.
SABARIMALA REVIEW VERDICT
After a full day hearing given to the petitioners on 6 February, the Constitution Bench of Supreme Court had reserved orders for review petitions in regards with Sabarimala case. The Constitution bench comprised of CJI Gogoi, Justice Khanwilkar, Justice Nariman, Justice Chandrachud and Justice Indu Malhotra. They heard the arguments in a bunch of petitions filed by Travancore Devaswon Board, Pandalam Royal Family and certain groups of devotees against the judgment made on September 28, 2018 which declared the right of women of all age groups to enter the temple. The petitioners submitted that the judgment imported the concept of “untouchability” mentioned under Section 17 to the situation of the Sabarimala temple, without understanding its historical context. The major arguments were that the practice at a temple is entirely based on the celibate character of the deity.
APPLICATION OF RTI TO CJI’s OFFICE
On 4 April the Constitution Bench of Supreme Court had reserved orders regarding the issue that whether the office of CJI will come under the Right to Information Act or not. The bench was presided by CJI Gogoi heard a plea filed by the Supreme Court General against the January 10 judgment of the Delhi High Court that declared that CJI’s office is a “public authority” with reference to Section 2(h) of the RTI Act, 2005.
VALIDITY OF FINANCE ACT 2017 AFFECTING POWERS AND STRUCTURES OF TRIBUNALS
On 10th of April the Supreme Court made a judgment in the petition filed by the Revenue Bar Association challenging the provisions of Finance Act 2017 which disturbed the powers and structures of various judicial tribunals including the National Green Tribunal, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, etc. The petitioner made an argument stating that the Finance Act passed in the form of a money bill can make no changes in the composition of a tribunal.
CONSPIRACY PLOT AGAINST CJI IN SEXUAL HARASSMENT CASE
This judgment is an important event to look forward to. A special bench is made comprising of Justice Arun Mishra, R F Nariman and Deepak Gupta had appointed Justie Patnaik to conduct the probe on the basis of claims made by Advocate Utsav Bains that he was approached by fixers , corporate lobbyists and the disgruntled employees to create conspiracy plot against the CJI.
Each judgment that has to be made by the CJI Ranjan Gogoi in all the above mentioned cases is very crucial and something to which people are looking forward to and they being the last judgments made by the CJI have made these cases even more important. Right now the eyes and ears of the people are eagerly waiting for the Ayodhya Verdict which is going to be Pronounced Today which as the citizens we can only hope for the best decisions to be made so that the seekers get pure and honest justice in order to keep their trust in our honorable judicial system.