Contrary to the wind direction, Supreme Court to be fully functional on day of Ram temple consecration

On a day when National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, the Himachal Pradesh High Court and many other judicial offices will be closed for the full or half day, the Supreme Court has decided to sail against the tide. 

THE Supreme Court of India headed by Chief Justice of India Dr D.Y. Chandrachud has decided to go ahead with the daily business of hearing matters on a day when the consecration of the new Ram temple in Ayodhya is to take place.

All 16 Benches are slated to hear cases listed before them.

CJI Chandrachud, then a judge of the Supreme Court, was part of a five-judge Bench that paved the way for the construction of the Ram temple. As per reports, all five judges, including former CJIs Ranjan Gogoi and S.A. Bobde, and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer, who heard and decided the Babri Masjid–Ram temple case have been invited to attend the ceremony.

Times of India has reported that only Justice Bhushan would be attending the temple consecration. He authored an unsigned addendum to the Ayodhya judgment on the significance of Lord Rama and his birthplace.

Within three months of Justice Bhushan’s retirement from the Supreme Court, the Union government appointed him as chairperson of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), a position he continues to hold till date.

Justice Bhushan has issued an Order declaring a half-day holiday for the NCLAT, both at its principal Bench and the Chennai Bench, on January 22, 2024.

Also read: Everything you need to know about Babri Masjid demolition and the trial thereafter

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Adish C. Aggarwala has written a letter to the CJI Dr Chandrachud requesting that no adverse Orders should be passed due to the non-appearance of lawyers in cases listed before the court on January 22, the day of the consecration ceremony at the Ram temple.

At the time of publication of this report, it is not yet known what decision the CJI has taken on Aggarwala’s letter.

The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Sunday issued a notification declaring a public holiday on Monday for the high court as well as the district judiciary in the state.

Also read: Read the suit-wise summary of the Ayodhya judgment

In November 2019, in a unanimous judgment, the Supreme Court handed over the entire 2.77 acres of land on which the mosque stood in Ayodhya to a trust for a temple to be constructed.

The Union government was tasked with formulating a scheme for the same within a period of three months, making necessary provisions with regard to the functioning of the trust, its management, powers of trustees, construction of a temple and all necessary, incidental and supplemental matters.

Using its powers under Article 142 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court had also directed the allotment of a suitable plot of land measuring five acres to the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board.

The court had directed that this land be allotted either by the Union government “out of the land acquired under the Ayodhya Act, 1993” or by the state government at a “suitable, prominent place in Ayodhya”.