As the five- judge bench of the Supreme Court gave a unanimous, landmark verdict on the 134-year-old politically sensitive Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi has planned a dinner with the four judges on the Ayodhya bench, Chief Justice-designate SA Bobde, Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice SA Nazeer at Taj Mansingh in the capital on Saturday.
Deservedly so after the marathon hearing, it is learnt that the Chief Justice wanted to be out along with the four judges giving them a break from the hectic schedule in the run-up to the judgement pronounced today morning.
The top court had reserved the judgement on October 16, after a 40-day marathon hearing on the matter, which began on August 6.
This is the second-longest case to be heard by the Supreme Court, today’s verdict runs into 1,045 pages.
The apex court began the daily hearing after the court-appointed mediation panel headed by former Supreme Court Justice FMI Kalifulla and comprising spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar along with senior advocate Sriram Panchu failed to develop a consensus among the parties to arrive at an amicable solution.
The Allahabad High Court in 2010 through a judgement had equally partitioned the dispute 2.77 acre land between – Ram Lalla Virajman, Nirmohi Akhara and Sunni Waqf Board. A total of 14 appeals were filed in the apex court in four civil suits.
The 40 days hearing which the second biggest after the landmark Kesavanand Bharti case in 1973, which went on 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 third longest hearing in the Supreme Court was on the validity of the Aadhaar scheme which lasted for 38 days.
In a landmark judgement, the bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi ruled that the disputed 2.77-acre land will be taken over by a Government trust for the construction of the temple, while a suitable alternative plot of land measuring 5 acres at a prominent site in Ayodhya will be given to the Sunni Wakf Board.