After Ayodhya verdict, CJI to deliver 4 important verdicts within 3 days next week

New Delhi: As the Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Saturday delivered the historic judgement on the title dispute of Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case, it will deliver a few other important verdicts next week.

As the Chief Justice Gogoi retires on November 17, a bench headed by him will deliver the verdicts in just three days, that is, from November 13-15 (Wednesday to Friday), as the apex court is closed on Monday, Tuesday and Saturday.

The top court will deliver the verdict in the politically sensitive case on Rafale deal review petitions against its December 14, 2018 judgement upholding the 36 Rafale jets' deal.

A bench of Chief Justice Gogoi, Justice SK Kaul and Justice KM Joseph had reserved the order in May on the review petitions filed against the Rafale deal.

The review petitions were filed by former Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and advocate Prashant Bhushan, contending that the government had suppressed material information from the Court regarding the Rafale deal.

Along with review petitions, the Bench will also deliver its verdict on the contempt plea filed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi against Congress president Rahul Gandhi for wrongly attributing to the court his "Chowkidar Chor Hai" slogan.

Gandhi later tendered an unconditional apology to the apex court for his "unintentional, non-wilful and inadvertent" linking of the top court order on Rafale with his "Chowkidar Chor Hai" jibe against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court will also pass judgement on the case whether the Chief Justice of India's office is covered under the purview of the transparency law, Right to Information Act (RTI).

The Bench had on April 4 reserved its order in the case.

The verdict in the case will decide whether the CJI's office will come under the ambit of the RTI Act. Five-judge bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice NV Ramana, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna will pass the verdict.

The issue arose from an appeal filed by the Supreme Court Secretary-General against the January 2010 judgement of the Delhi High Court that declared the CJI's office a "public authority" within the meaning of Section 2(h) of the RTI Act, 2005.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for Subhash Chandra Aggarwal, who had sought details under the RTI Act, argued that the court has favoured transparency, through various judgments, even before the RTI Act was brought in but when it comes to cases relating to transparency of the court itself, the "court has not been very forthcoming".

Another important judgment to be delivered by a Bench headed by Chief Justice Gogoi before his retirement is on review petitions against the verdict allowing entry of women of all age groups into the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple.

On February 6, five-judge Constitution Bench also comprising Justice RF Nariman, Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Indu Malhotra, had reserved its judgment on a batch of petitions seeking review of its September 2018 verdict allowing the entry of women into the Sabarimala temple.

A Bench of Chief Justice Gogoi will pass the verdict on a batch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of the Finance Act, 2017 on the ground that it was passed by the Parliament as a Money Bill.

The pleas also challenged the Finance Act 2017, alleging that the government was taking over the powers to decide the terms and conditions of tribunal members, including their tenure.

The Centre had justified certification of Finance Bill, 2017 as a Money Bill saying it has provisions that deal with salaries and allowance to be paid to the members of tribunals from the consolidated funds of India.

The five-judge bench also comprising Justice NV Ramana, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna had reserved the judgement on April 2.

 

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