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Ayodhya verdict: Mystery over authorship of 1045-page judgment by CJI Ranjan Gogoi-led Supreme Court bench

  • The ruling, laid out in 1045 pages, does not name the judge who authored it

  • Established practice is to specify the name of the judge who authored the verdict on behalf of the bench

  • There is no known precedent of the apex court concealing the identity of the author of a major judgment

On Friday, a five-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi delivered its landmark verdict in the Ayodhya case on Friday and set to rest a myriad of questions regarding the disputed land.

 Ayodhya verdict: Mystery over authorship of 1045-page judgment by CJI Ranjan Gogoi-led Supreme Court bench

File image of the Supreme Court of India. Reuters

However, the judgment left one question unanswered: Who authored the 1045-page verdict?

The ruling, which handed the structure to the Hindus and directed the Centre to allot a five-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf board for the construction of a mosque, does not name the judge who authored it.

According to a report in the Deccan Herald, the name of the judge who authors the verdict is placed at its beginning and the names of the concurring jurists are placed at its end.

According to a report in Livelaw, this is highly unusual and a departure from convention, so much so, that there is no known precedent of the apex court concealing the identity of the author of a judgment in a major case.

Established practice is to specify the name of the judge who authored the verdict on behalf of the bench, according to the report. The presence of a 116-page addendum — which also explains why the disputed land is the birth place of Lord Ram as per the faith and belief of Hindus — is also unusual and the author of this addendum is similarly not identified, as per the report.

The final paragraph of the verdict, on page 929, states:

"One of us, while being in agreement with the above reasons and directions, has recorded separate reasons on: ―Whether the disputed structure is the birth-place of Lord Ram according to the faith and belief of the Hindu devotees‖. The reasons of the learned judge are set out in an addendum."

CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury told the Deccan Herald: "It is very unusual that the judgment does not make it clear who the author is. It is normally mentioned. We also don't know who wrote the addendum. This is unprecedented."

Updated Date: Nov 09, 2019 18:01:02 IST