- Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi headed the five-judge bench
- Justice SA Bobde, who succeeds him on November 17, also a member
- Government has increased the security cover for all the judges involved
A five-member Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi delivered a unanimous verdict in the Ayodhya temple-mosque title suit today. The top court's verdict decreed that the 2.77 acres of disputed land is to be given to a government-run trust to build a temple, while Muslims will be given a "suitable" five-acre plot in the town. Given the sensitivity of the case, the government had earlier increased the security cover for all the judges involved.
Here's a look at the five judges who delivered the verdict:
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi
Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who belongs to Assam, became the first person from the Northeast to be appointed to the country's top judicial position in October 2018. After enrolling at the bar in 1978, he practised at the Gauhati High Court and became a permanent judge on February 28, 2001. He was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, where he eventually became its Chief Justice before being elevated to the Supreme Court in April 2012. A judge who has heard several landmark cases through his career, including one pertaining to the National Citizens Register, he had indicated that judgment in the Ayodhya case would be delivered before his retirement on November 17. Earlier on Friday, he had met top Uttar Pradesh officials to discuss security arrangements in place ahead of the landmark.
Justice SA Bobde
Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde, who will succeed Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on November 17, joined the Bombay High Court as an additional judge in 2000 before being appointed as the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court two years later. The Maharashtra-born judge, who was elevated to the Supreme Court in April 2013, will be the top judge of the country for 18 months before his tenure expires. In a recent interview with NDTV, the 63-year-old Chief Justice designate had spoken of the Ayodhya dispute case as "one of the most important in the world".
Justice DY Chandrachud
The son of YV Chandrachud, the longest-serving Chief Justice of India, Justice DY Chandrachud was appointed as a Supreme Court judge in May 2016 by then President Pranab Mukherjee. He had earlier served in the Bombay High Court and the Allahabad High Court. A Harvard law graduate, Justice Chandrachud is known to have overturned several rulings that were believed to have turned obsolete with the passage of time. Some such verdicts, including those on the adultery law and the right to privacy, were handed down from his father himself. Apart from law, he was also a visiting professor of Comparative Constitutional Law at the University of Mumbai and the Oklahoma University School of Law in the United States.
Justice Ashok Bhushan
Justice Ashok Bhushan, who launched his career in 1979, practised as an advocate in the Allahabad High Court before being elevated to the post of judge in April 2001. He was transferred to the Kerala High Court in July 2014, and took charge as its Acting Chief Justice a few months later. He was appointed as the Chief Justice of the court in March 2015. Justice Bhushan was appointed to the Supreme Court on May 13, 2016.
Justice Abdul Nazeer
Justice Abdul Nazeer enrolled as an advocate in February 1983 and practised in the Karnataka High Court for 20 years. He was appointed as an additional judge at the court in February 2003 and turned permanent the following year. He was elevated to the Supreme Court on February 17, 2017. Justice Abdul Nazeer made headlines in August 2017, when he - along with then Chief Justice JS Khehar - ruled that while the practice of triple talaq is "sinful in theology", the Supreme Court cannot interfere in personal laws. The central government finally banned the practice through legislative action earlier this year.