The Supreme Court has delivered the most awaited and important judgment of Independent India on Ramjanama Bhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute on Saturday. The judgment is considered to be the biggest judgment by the apex court and is the second largest in terms of number of days of hearing.
Hearing of the Ayodhya dispute lasted for 40 days which is the second biggest after the landmark Kesavanand Bharti case in 1973 which lasted for 68 days. The Kesavanand Bharti case is not only largest in terms of number of days of hearing, but it also consisted the largest bench of Supreme Court consisted of 13 judges.
The most controversial case of the independent India revolving around the ownership of land in Ayodhya claimed by Hindu and Muslims commenced on August 6 and ended on October 16. The proceeding witnessed high voltage drama till the last day of the proceeding when the Muslim side lawyer, Rajeev Dhawan tore the map presented by the Hindu side in the courtroom. On the last day itself, the bench hearing the case observed ‘enough is enough’
The five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, comprising SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer was hearing the dispute. In the beginning the hearing of the case was scheduled to finish on October 18 which was advanced to October 17. The hearing was wrapped up by the SC on October 16 saying ‘enough is enough’.
The apex court had to give the judgment before November 17, the day of retirement of CJI Ranjan Gogoi.
Apex court granted three days to contesting parties to file written notes on ‘moulding of relief’ or narrowing down the issues on which the court is required to adjudicate.
There was frequent ups and downs in the courtroom during the marathon 40 days hearing marked with the heated exchange between the lawyers of both the Hindu and Muslim sides. Earlier, the Supreme Court had constituted a mediation panel for settling down the issue. But the mediation bid failed to find an amicable solution on the Ayodhya dispute.
Apart from these two marathon hearings, the third longest hearing in the Supreme Court was on the validity of the Aadhaar scheme which lasted for 38 days.