January 10, 2019:
On Thursday, the Supreme Court adjourned the sensitive Ayodhya case for Jan 29 after one of the 5 Judges in the Constitution bench recused himself.
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, who headed the bench, said it was important a new bench is constituted to decide on date and hearing frequency.
The bench, headed by CJI Gogoi and consisting of Justice SA Bobde, Justice NV Ramana, Justice UU Lalit and Justice DY Chandrachud, assembled to pronounce the dates of the hearing.
But Dr. Rajeeev Dhavan, representing Muslim bodies, brought to notice that Justice Lalit appeared for former Uttar Pradesh CM Kalyan Singh in a contempt case in the 1990s, when he was a lawyer.
The case Dr. Dhavan referred to is years old, 1994 precisely, and it sent Kalyan Singh to jail for one day.
The Supreme Court had ordered the status quo of the site should be maintained and Singh filed an affidavit saying the order would be followed.
But the court learned structures were being erected at the site and initiated contempt proceedings against Singh.
Singh was found guilty by the SC. He was given token imprisonment of one day and fined Rs. 20,000.
Notably, the top court’s decision on the case miffed Vishwa Hindu Parishad. The right-wing body said Justice Lalit hasn’t appeared for the case “neither in trial stage nor appeal.”
“The objections were merely ploys to delay further,” the VHP said reacting on the recent development.