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Ayodhya Verdict: None of the five judges were born when 1st suit was filed

Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992. All five judges were appointed as HC judges in or after 2000.

Updated: Nov 12, 2019, 11.52 AM IST
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(This story originally appeared in on Nov 12, 2019)
NEW DELHI: None of the five Supreme Court judges who delivered the historic Ayodhya verdict on Saturday — CJI Ranjan Gogoi, CJI-designate S A Bobde and Justices D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer — was born when two of the five title suits were filed before the Faizabad district court in 1950.a

The first suit was filed on January 16, 1950, by a devotee, Gopal Singh Visharad, seeking protection of his right to worship Ram Lalla and a restraint order on authorities from removing idols of the deity from under the central dome where it was placed on the night of December 22, 1949. The SC termed placing of the idols under the central dome as the beginning of a new phase of the controversy.

The second suit was filed on December 5, 1950, by Ramchandra Das seeking the same relief as Gopal Singh. This suit was dismissed as withdrawn on September 18, 1990, by the Allahabad HC. CJI Gogoi, the senior-most of the five judges, was born on November 18, 1954, followed by Justice Bobde on April 24, 1956, Justice Bhushan on July 5, 1956, Justice Nazeer on January 5, 1958, and Justice Chandrachud on November 11, 1959.

They all were practising advocates when the Allahabad HC, in 1989, transferred to itself all the five title suits pending adjudication before the Faizabad district court on an application filed by the UP government citing the importance of the issue involved. Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992. All five judges were appointed as HC judges in or after 2000.

The importance of the issues involved in the communally, politically and historically important case was aptly described by the bench, which said in its ruling, “This court is tasked with the resolution of a dispute whose origins are as old as the idea of India itself. The events associated with the dispute have spanned the Mughal empire, colonial rule and the present constitutional regime.”

The Allahabad HC’s full bench comprising Justices Sibghat Ullah Khan, Sudhir Agrawal and Dharam Veer Sharma had on September 30, 2010, ordered three-way division of the disputed site among Ram Lalla, Nirmohi Akhara and Sunni Waqf Board.

Even among these three HC judges, only Sharma was born before the first suit was filed in January 1950. Sharma was born on October 2, 1948, and retired a day after the HC delivered its verdict. The SC on Saturday had set aside the Allahabad HC judgment.

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