New Delhi: Senior Supreme Court judges on Sunday praised Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi on Sunday for the ‘grit, mettle and character’ that he showed in delivering the landmark verdict in the contentious Ayodhya land dispute case a day ago.
The CJI, who will demit office on November 17, headed the five-judge Constitution bench which held 40 day-to-day hearings in the case.
Speaking at a book launch event a day after the judgement, CJI-designate Sharad Arvind Bobde, who was also on the Ayodhya case bench, said that he considered himself privileged to have worked with CJI Gogoi whose grit, mettle and character, he remarked, is so strong that it is difficult to pass anything wrong. He added that the CJI’s ‘sense of justice,’ too, was so strong that he does not anything unless everyone concerned give their consent.
Justice Arun Mishra, who is the fourth senior-most judge of the SC, said that Justice Gogoi had achieved the ‘impossible’ with the 1,000-page judgement in just two-three weeks and thus showed what the top court is capable of doing. “CJI Gogoi is retiring in the most difficult time, so Justice Bobde’s task is not going to be easy,” said Justice Mishra.
Justice Shripathi Ravindra Bhat, meanwhile, said that what happened on Saturday is history as the courts spoke in one voice.
The CJI, on his part, refused to comment on the verdict, saying that this was not the occasion to speak about it.
The SC judges were attending the launch of the Assamese version of the book ‘Courts of India: Past to Present,’ published by the SC.
In a unanimous verdict, the apex court gave sole ownership of the disputed 2.77-acre land to the Hindu Mahasabha, rejecting respective claims made by the Sunni Waqf Board and the Nirmohi Akhara. However, it also ruled that the Waqf Board should get an alternate five-acre plot of land to construct their mosque on it. Besides CJI and the CJI-designate, the bench also comprised Justices Ashok Bhushan, DY Chandrachud and SA Nazeer.