CJI Expected to Deliver Key Verdicts Before Retiring on 17 Nov

At present, the apex court is on Diwali break and will re-open on 4 November.

3 min read
File image of CJI Ranjan Gogoi.

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, who retires on 17 November, is expected to deliver verdicts in several key matters, including the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute and petitions seeking review of the Rafale judgment, in the next eight working days of the Supreme Court.

At present, the apex court is on Diwali break and will re-open on 4 November.

Thereafter, the court would observe holidays on 11 and 12 November, leaving only eight working days before Justice Gogoi demits office as the CJI.


1. Ayodhya-Babri Masjid Title Dispute

Amidst all the cases, the judgment for the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute in Ayodhya happens to be the most anticipated one.

A five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by the CJI, had reserved its verdict after a marathon hearing of 40 days, on 16 October. Apart from CJI Gogoi, the bench also includes Justice SA Bobde, who will be elevated as the next CJI.

  • In 2010, the Allahabad High Court had ordered the disputed 2.77 acres of land to be distributed equally between the three parties – Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lala.
  • 14 appeals were filed in the apex court against this judgment.
  • From 6 August, the Constitution Bench held daily hearings.
  • On 16 October, Supreme Court reserved its judgment.

2. Rafale Review Verdict

  • 14 December 2018: SC declined to order an inquiry into allegations of corruption in the Rafale deal & gave a clean chit to Centre to procure 36 fighter jets from French firm Dassault.
  • A joint review petition was then filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan, former Union Ministers Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha.
  • 10 May 2019: The bench comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph reserved its judgment on the above review petition.
  • The court now has to give a judgment on the review petition.

3. Wrongful Attribution of Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’

  • BJP Leader Meenakshi Lekhi had filed a criminal contempt plea against Congress’ Rahul Gandhi.
  • This was in the context of Gandhi’s comment ‘chowkidar chor hai’ to the media, targeting PM Narendra Modi.
  • The Congress leader later had issued an unconditional apology for wrongfully attributing the phrase 'chowkidar chor hai' to the apex court.
  • On 10 May, the apex court had reserved its order on Lekhi’s plea and now will pronounce the verdict.

4. Sabarimala Review Verdict

A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Justice Gogoi will also pronounce its judgment on the pleas seeking review of the top court's judgment allowing women of all ages to enter the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.

  • 28 September 2018: The Supreme Court gave permission to women of all ages to enter the Sabarimala Temple.
  • Many petitions were filed against this order of the court by the Travancore Devaswom Board, Pandalam Royal Family, and groups of devotees.
  • 6 February 2019: The apex court heard all the petitions the entire day and reserved its order.
  • Now, a five-member Constitution Bench headed by CJI Gogoi will pronounce the verdict on these petition that seek reconsideration of the SC’s decision.

5. Application of RTI to CJI's Office

  • January 2010: The Delhi High Court had declared the CJI’s office a ‘public authority’, in accordance to Section 2(h) of the RTI Act, 2005.
  • Following this, the Secretary General of the Supreme Court and its Central Public Information officer filed three appeals against the Delhi HC’s decision.
  • 4 April: The Constitution Bench presided by CJI Gogoi reserved its order on the issue.
  • The apex will now have to pronounce a verdict.

(With Inputs from Live Law)

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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