In an unprecedented step ahead of the crucial Ayodhya verdict, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi on Friday held a highly confidential meeting with Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary and Director General of Police (DGP), to apparently take stock of the law and order situation.

As per reports, three judges from the five-member Ayodhya bench – Chief Justice Gogoi, Chief Justice-designate SA Bobde and Justice Ashok Bhushan attended the meeting with the Chief Secretary Rajendra Kumar Tiwari and the DGP.

It is learnt the discussion mainly focussed on the law and order situation in the state in view of the judgement, which is expected any time next week. “The meeting between the judges and the state officials began at 11.30 am and ended at 1.00 pm,” said a source familiar with the development.

Sources, according to IANS, said the judges asked the state officials if they needed any assistance in the form of an order to strengthen the law and order situation.

The apex court is expected to announce a verdict in the 134-year-old politically-sensitive Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute before CJI Ranjan Gogoi leaves office on November 17.

Justice SA Bobde, who will take over as the next Chief Justice, has termed the Ayodhya case “one of the most important in the world”.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath held a three-hour review meeting with top police and administration officials in Lucknow late on Thursday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also discussed the matter with his council of ministers in Delhi on Wednesday and asked them to refrain from making unnecessary statements on the subject and maintain harmony in the country.

The PM’s diktat comes after senior RSS and BJP leaders reached out to prominent Muslim clerics and intellectuals and stressed that irrespective of the nature of the top court’s ruling there should neither be ‘junooni jashn’ (excessive celebration) nor ‘haar ka hungama’ (brouhaha over defeat).

Also, the ruling BJP asked its workers and spokespersons to refrain from making provocative statements on the Ram temple issue. The party also told its MPs to visit their constituencies for maintaining calm.

The daily hearing on the matter commenced on August 6 and ended on October 16 amidst high drama by the concerned parties in the Supreme Court.

The apex court began daily hearings after a court-appointed panel failed to find a solution through mediation.

With the view that the verdict might disturb the law and order situation, security has been beefed up in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh.

Leaders across the political spectrum have appealed to the citizens to maintain harmony and respect the Supreme Court’s order.

(With inputs from IANS)