After Ayodhya, eyes now on high-profile cases like Rafale before CJI Ranjan Gogoi retires
New Delhi/UNI: Even before the heat and dust generated by the historic Ayodhya verdict settled, political circles are abuzz with a few more high-profile politico-legal cases likely to come up in the Supreme Court.
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi is retiring on November 17 and thus there is intense speculation in next seven days, the apex court and the bench-headed by him could deliver the rulings on cases including on Rafale, on notice against Rahul Gandhi for dragging Supreme Court in 'Chowkidar Chor hae' row and the Sabarimala temple.
Former BJP leaders and Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie and eminent lawyer Prashant Bhushan had prayed before the court seeking review of its (Supreme Court's) December 14, 2018 verdict that had given a clean chit to the Modi government for Rafale deal to procure 36 fighter jets from France.
In yet another high-profile case, the Supreme Court had served a notice to Congress president Rahul Gandhi in April after taking cognizance of a plea filed by BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi over his 'Chowkidar chor hai' remarks against PM Narendra Modi.
It was alleged that Mr Gandhi during the height of election campaign had distorted the Supreme Court and said that the apex court has accepted that there is some form of corruption in Rafale deal and that 'chowkidaar ne chori karwayi hai'.
The Supreme Court has observed that it had on 'no occasion' made any comments as attributed by Gandhi and that the judgment was solely on the legal question of admissibility of documents produced by review petitioners.
In fact, in May, the then Congress president had tendered an 'unconditional apology' to the court but BJP leader Ms Lekhi’s counsel Mukul Rohatgi had said that the apology was belated and thus should not be accepted.
The apex court is also expected to pass its ruling on the case whether Chief Justice of India's office is covered under the purview of the transparency law, the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
In a 4:1 majority verdict the Supreme Court lifted the ban on the entry of women in the age groups of 10 and 50 by setting aside the centuries-old practice that barred the entry of women into the Sabarimala temple.
The court had said - "Devotion cannot be subjected to gender discrimination. The court also said that a patriarchal notion cannot be allowed to trump equality in devotion".
The verdict was challenged for a review.