Supreme Court signals Ayodhya not just a ‘civil case’ any more

A supporter of a Hindu group protests near the Supreme Court on January 10, 2019.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The formation of a Constitution Bench to hear the Ayodhya appeals may be a signal from the Supreme Court that it does not consider the dispute merely as a civil suit for land but a case of historical importance for the country.

In 2017, the then Chief Justice Dipak Misra, heading a three-judge Bench, chose to view the appeals like any others arising from a title dispute. Justice Misra had directed that a three-judge Bench would hear the appeals.

However, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi’s decision to head a five-judge Constitution Bench, that too comprising prospective Chief Justices of India in the line of seniority, signals that the top court no more considers these appeals ordinary.

In fact, the constitution of the Constitution Bench is in line with submissions made by senior advocates including Rajeev Dhawan and Kapil Sibal. In a December 5, 2017, hearing, Mr. Sibal, Mr. Dhawan and senior advocate Dushyant Dave had submitted that the Ayodhya dispute was probably the most important case in the history of India which would “decide the future of the polity”. The appeals, they had said “go to the very heart of our secular and democratic fabric”.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 2:30:51 PM |

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