The bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, who retires on November 17 is set to deliver four important judgments.
The Supreme Court will deliver its landmark verdict on the Babri dispute at 10:30 am on Saturday, ending decades of uncertainty on the issue.
The Babri Mosque-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute
The Babri Mosque-Ram Janmabhoomi case has been lingering since 1858 and litigation on it has been going on since 1885.
The Chief Justice-designate is part of the five-judge bench that heard the 133-year-old title suit for over 40 days.
Appeals for peace have come from Hindu and Muslim organisations and various political leaders ahead of the verdict. The home ministry has asked all states to be on alert.
This case is a political, historical and socio-religious debate in India, centred on a plot of land in the city of Ayodhya, located in Faizabad district, Uttar Pradesh. The issues revolve around the control of a site traditionally regarded among some Hindu groups to be the birthplace of the Hindu deity Rama, the history and location of the Babri Mosque at the site, and whether a previous Hindu temple was demolished or modified to create the mosque.
On 6 December 1992, a large group of Hindu activists of the Vishva Hindu Parishad and allied organisations demolished the 16th-century Babri Mosque. The demolition occurred after a political rally organised by Hindu nationalist organisations at the site turned violent.
The demolition of the 16th-century Babri Masjid, which was constructed under the rule of the first Mughal Emperor Babar, triggered attacks against Muslims and genocides of Muslims in parts of India that continued for months. More than 1,000 people were killed.
Read the timeline:
Review petitions over the ₹59,000 crore Rafale deal
A three-judge SC Bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice S K Kaul and Justice K M Joseph is expected to deliver its verdict on a clutch of petitions seeking review of its December 14 judgment last year, which had dismissed the pleas challenging India’s agreement with France to procure 36 Rafale fighter jets.
The Supreme Court in its December 14, 2018 order had refused to call for an investigation into allegations of corruption in the Rafale aircraft deal. Subsequently, a joint review petition was filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan, and former Union ministers Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha.
Pleas against SC order allowing entry of women in Sabarimala Temple
In its September 28, 2018 judgment, the Supreme Court held that not allowing women in their “menstruating years” into the Sabarimala is ultra vires the constitution, and all women should be allowed to enter the temple.
A five-judge bench led by Chief Justice, in Feburary this year, reserved its verdict on a batch of pleas challenging its ruling that opened the doors of the Sabarimala temple to women of reproductive age, setting off massive protests in Kerala by traditionalists and triggering a political slugfest between Kerala’s ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The order was challenged by the Travancore Devaswom Board, the Pandalam Royal Family and groups of devotees through a total of 65 review petitions.
The main contention of the petitioners was that the practice of not allowing women into the shrine was because of the celibate character of the deity.
Inclusion of Chief Justice of India’s office under Right to Information Act
A five-judge constitution bench headed by CJI Gogoi is expected to deliver it verdict on an appeal by the Supreme Court’s Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) against a January 2010 ruling of the Delhi High Court which held that the Supreme Court and CJI are “public authorities” under the Right to Information Act, 2005.
After it remained pending in the Supreme Court for nine years, the appeal was taken up by the bench headed by the CJI.