After closing the long-standing Babri Masjid-Ramjanmbhoomi Ayodhya land disputed, Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi’s is all se to deliver four verdicts on other significant cases that will shape India’s political and social discourse.
CJI Gogoi, who is set to retire on November 17, will wind up cases on Rafale deal, entry of women in Sabarimala temple, Rahul Gandhi’s ‘chowkidar chor hai’ remark, and on whether CJI’s office will fall under the purview of RTI.
Various petitions including one filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan, former union minister Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie jointly filed a petition to seek the review of the Supreme Court order on the infamous Rafale deal.
The Supreme Court on December 14, 2018, had refused to call for an investigation into alleged corruption in the Rs 58000 crore Rafale aircraft deal.
Subsequently, a joint review petition was filed which sought a probe into the ‘stolen secret documents’ in the Rafale deal that the petitioners had claimed to retrieve. The order was reserved on May 10.
Sabarimala Temple Review
CJI will also deliver verdict in the petition seeking review of the apex court’s September 2018 judgement allowing pilgrims to enter Kerala’s Sabrimala shrine regardless of gender, including women in the menstruating age group.
Sixty-five petitioners demanded a review on the previous ruling of the SC as they believe that the last verdict was against the “centuries-old” belief and would adulterate the Sabarimala deity as it is considered a “Naishtika Brahmachari”(eternally celibate).
RTI and the SC
The SC will decide whether or not the office of the CJI would fall under the ambit of the Right To Information Act. The secretary-general had filed a plea challenging the January 2010 verdict of the Delhi High Court ruling that the CJI’s office was a “public authority” and that it should come under the purview of RTI act.
Contempt Plea Against Rahul Gandhi
CJI will announce the judgement on a criminal contempt plea filed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi against Rahul Gandhi for attributing the “chowkidaar chor hai” remark to the apex court in April this year.
Gandhi had apologised for making the remark and had requested the court to close the case filed against him. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, advocating for Lekhi, had asked the bench to reject Gandhi’s apology and take strict action against him.
With these four verdicts, CJI Ranjan Gogoi, who remained in headlines for closing down protrusive cases varying from the reassessment of income of actor Amitabh Bacchan to reviewing Assam’s NRC case, will demit office on November 17, 2019.