After the historic verdict on the decade-long Ayodhya land dispute matter, the outgoing Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi headed-bench of the Supreme Court has pronounced judgments on defence, religion and politics.
With three days left to his retirement, the CJI Gogoi on November 14, announced the verdict on a batch of a review petition against its order allowing the entry of women of all ages in Sabarimala temple and pronounced its judgment on a batch of petitions seeking review of its 2018 order which gave clean chit to Narendra Modi-led government on a plea seeking investigation into alleged irregularities in the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets by India from France.
Here are four important verdicts that the CJI Gogoi ruled out before his retirement:
Sabarimala review petitions:
On November 14, the top court referred to a larger constitution bench a batch of review petitions against its September 2018 verdict allowing entry of women of all age groups into the Sabarimala temple. The SC said that the entry of women into places of worship is not just limited to the Sabarimala temple but also includes issues like allowing Muslim and Parsi women to enter religious practice.
A Constitution Bench led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi referred to a larger constitution bench a batch of review petitions against its September 2018 verdict allowing entry of women of all age groups into the Sabarimala temple.
The split 3:2 verdict saw Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice DY Chandrachud dissenting.
The bench passed the order on a clutch of petitions seeking reconsideration of its September 2018 judgment that lifted the bar on menstruating women from worshipping in the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.
The apex court in a landmark 4:1 ruling had set aside decades-old restrictions on the entry of women of age between 10 to 15 years inside the temple.
Rafale review petitions:
The apex court on November 14, 2019 dismissed Rafale review petitions against its December 14, 2018 judgment upholding the 36 Rafale jets' deal.
The verdict has been delivered by a three-judge bench presided by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph.
On December 14, 2018, the top court had dismissed petitions seeking court-monitored probe into Rafale fighter jet deal, saying that there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the deal. The top court had also said that it was not its job to go into the issue of pricing of fighter planes.
CJI under RTI Act:
Transparency does not undermine judicial independence: CJI Gogoi led bench on November 13, rejected the contention of the Supreme Court that had challenged the Delhi HC judgment bringing it under the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
The SC upheld the 2010 Delhi High Court verdict and dismissed three appeals filed by Secretary-General of the Supreme Court and the Central Public Information officer of the apex court.
Cautioning that RTI cannot be used as a tool of surveillance, the top court in its judgment held that judicial independence has to be kept in mind while dealing with transparency.
The bench, also comprising Justices N V Ramana, D Y Chandrachud, Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, said that only the names of judges recommended by the Collegium for the appointment can be disclosed, not the reasons. While the CJI and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna have penned one judgment, Justices Ramana and Chandrachud have written separate verdicts.
Ayodhya Land dispute case:
On November 9, the Supreme court of India pronounced its historic judgment in the decades-old Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case. The case was heard by a five-judge Constitution Bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan, and S Abdul Nazeer for a marathon 40 days on a day-to-day basis and reserved its order on October 16.
The Supreme Court granted the entire disputed land in Ayodhya for temple construction and directed Centre and Uttar Pradesh government to allot 5 acres of land to Muslims at a prominent place in Ayodhya for building a mosque.
Apart from these judgments, the Supreme Court has also pronounced its judgment on Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi's 'Chowkidar chor hai' remark.
The top court on November 14, closed the contempt proceedings against Rahul Gandhi, in which the Congress leader was facing contempt charges for wrongly attributing the 'chowkidar chow hai' remark to the Supreme Court. The Supreme court pronounced its verdict on the criminal contempt plea filed against Gandhi by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi for wrongly attributing to the SC his "chowkidar chor hai" remark in Rafale case against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Worth mentioning here that justice Gogoi took charge as the Chief Justice of India on October 3, 2018. CJI Gogoi, who is the 46th Chief Justice of India will be retiring from his post on November 17.