CJI Gogoi Reconstitutes Ayodhya Bench, 2 New Judges Named; Case to be Heard on Jan 29
The case will be heard on January 29.
File Photo of the Supreme Court of India.
New Delhi: Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi reconstituted the Ayodhya bench, and named two new judges in the five-judge constitution bench that will hear the case on January 29.
The two new judges are Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Abdul Nazeer.
The CJI-led bench will also include DY Chandrachud and SA Bobde and on Tuesday will decide the frequency of hearings in the case.
The hearing was earlier deferred after Justice UU Lalit, who was part of a Constitution bench to hear the case, recused himself as it was pointed out that he had been a lawyer in a related case.
Justice N V Ramana, who was in the bench which last heard the matter on January 10, is not a member in the new bench.
Justice Bhushan and Nazeer were part of the three-judge bench, then headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra (since retired), which on September 27, 2018, by a 2:1 majority verdict refused to refer to a five-judge Constitution Bench reconsideration of the observations in its 1994 judgement that a mosque was not integral to Islam. The matter arose during the hearing of the Ayodhya land dispute. Justice Nazeer had delivered minority judgement.
When the matter was last taken up on January 4, there was no indication that the case would be referred to a Constitution bench as the apex court had simply said further orders in the matter would be passed on January 10 by "the appropriate bench, as may be constituted".
As many as 14 appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land be partitioned equally among the three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
There has been a persistent push by the RSS and some leaders within the BJP for bringing in a special law to push for a Ram mandir. The PM, however, in an interview to news agency ANI at the beginning of the year said that any decision in this regard will only be made after the judicial process in over.
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