Mumbai: The Supreme Court on Saturday pronounced its verdict at 10:30 am in the politically sensitive case of Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya. Given the sensitivity of the case, the government had increased the security cover for all the judges involved.
The five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, includes Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer.
Here is a brief bio of the eminent judges:
Ranjan Gogoi: He is the 46th Chief Justice of India and will retire on November 17, 2019. After enrolling at the bar in 1978, he practised in the Gauhati High Court on constitutional, taxation and company matters. He was appointed as a permanent judge of the Gauhati High Court on February 28, 2001. In September 2010, he was transferred to Punjab and Haryana High Court and was later appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court in April 2012.
In October 2018, he became the first person from the Northeast to be appointed to the country's top judicial position. He has heard several landmark cases in his career, including one about the National Citizens Register.
Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde: SA Bobde, who will succeed Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on November 17, practised law at the Nagpur branch of the Bombay High Court for over 21 years. He was designated as a senior advocate in 1998. In March 2000, Justice Bobde was elevated to the bench of the Bombay High Court as Additional Judge. He was sworn in as Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court in October 2012. In April 2013, Justice Bobde was elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court of India. In the Ayodhya case, Justice Bobde has asked probing questions on the belief and faith of parties involved.
Justice DY Chandrachud: In May 2016, Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court. Previously DY Chandrachud was the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court.
From March 2000, he was a judge in the Bombay High Court. Chandrachud practised law at the Supreme Court of India and the Bombay High Court. He was also appointed as the director of the Maharashtra Judicial Academy. Justice Chandrachud has scrutinised the aspect of faith from a legal perspective in the Ayodhya dispute. He has often tested both parties on the relevance of their arguments in the realm of the existing legal regime.
He is known to have overturned several rulings that were believed to have turned obsolete with time. Some such verdicts, including those on the adultery law and the right to privacy, were handed down from his father himself.
Justice Ashok Bhushan: In 1979, Justice Ashok Bhushan enrolled as an advocate with the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh. He started Civil and Original side at Allahabad High Court till elevation to the bench. His scope of work was not just limited to that. He also worked as a standing counsel of Allahabad University, State Mineral Development Corporation and several municipal boards, banks and educational institutions. Bhushan was appointed as Senior Vice President of the Allahabad High Court Bar Association and was elevated as a permanent judge of the Allahabad High Court in 2001.
In 2014, he was sworn in as the judge of the Kerala High Court and took charge as acting Chief Justice in 2014. He was sworn in as the Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court in 2015. He was elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court in 2016. He has been dexterous in pulling out all relevant information from the cross-examination of the witnesses and often probed the counsels on the component of faith attached in the matter.
SA Nazeer: S Abdul Nazeer practised in the Karnataka High Court for 20 years after he enrolled as an advocate in February 1983. He was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Karnataka High Court in 2003 and as a permanent judge in 2004. He was elevated as Supreme Court judge in 2017. Justice Nazeer has patiently heard the counsels in the Ayodhya title dispute.