Ayodhya Verdict

On 9/11/2019 Supreme Court delivered 1,045 pages verdict in Ayodhya Dispute. The verdict has two parts. First part is main verdict and ends on page 929 and has names of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S A Bobde, Dr. Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer. Second part is an Addenda that has 116 pages and ends on page 1045. Fonts of two parts are different; it seems first part was printed on a laserjet or similar printer and second part was printed on a dot matrix printer. First part is unanimous. Second part is by one of the five whose name is not mentioned. He has recorded separate reasons on whether disputed structure is the birth place of Ram.
Persons familiar with Supreme Court verdicts say main part was written by Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and Addenda by Justice Ashok Bhushan.
The verdict gave disputed 2.77 acres to Hindus and ordered 5 acres of land in a prominent place in Ayodhya be given to Muslims to build a mosque. It declared placing of idols on night of 22-23 December 1949 in Babri Mosque and demolition of Babri Mosque on 6 December 1992 as illegal.
In a separate verdict Supreme Court dismissed Special Leave Petition of Shia Central Board of Waqf U P versus Sunni Central Board of Waqf, SLP (Civil) Diary Number 22744 of 2017, due to inordinate delay of 24964 days against the final judgment dated 30 March 1946 of the Civil Judge, Faizabad.
The verdict had different reactions. Narendra Modi said the verdict should not be seen as win or loss for anybody. Congress said it respects the decision and was in favour of construction of Ram Temple. Akhilesh Yadav said the verdict is an important step in the right direction of strengthening secularism, rule of law and democracy. Mayawati said everyone should respect the verdict. Lal Krishna Advani said “I stand vindicated…”
Tushar Gandhi said “If the Gandhi murder case was retried by the Supreme Court today, the verdict would have been Nathuram Godse is a murderer but he is also a desh bhakt.” “Please all is not justice. Please all is politics.”
All India Muslim Personal Law Board expressed grave dissatisfaction and called the verdict neither equity nor justice. About 5 acres for mosque, AIMPLB lawyer Zafaryab Jilani said “You can not exchange land for a mosque.” Asaduddin Owaisi said Supreme Court is supreme but not infallible. He regretted victory of faith over facts. Kamal Farooqui said “It was never about land. They can take 100 acres from us if they want.” Syed Ahmed Bukhari, Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid of Delhi, accepted the verdict and said the matter should not be stretched further. Faizan Mustafa and Aymen Mohammed said the verdict is a setback to evidence law with differential burden of proof being demanded from different parties.
AIMPLB will decide on 17/11/2019 about filing review petition against the verdict. Maulana Mehmood Madani said “The Honourable five judges of the apex court despite admitting that the placing of idols and destruction of Babri Masjid were serious violations of the rule of law, it gave the land to those who had committed such crimes…”
If there is no review petition the matter will end. If there is a review petition the dispute will continue for some time. There is not much probability of reversal of verdict after review petition. We do not know how things will proceed from here. CJI Ranjan Gogoi retires soon, 17/11/2019 is his last day as CJI.

Delhi Police Protest

It is rare for police to protest. On 5/11/2019 police gathered in front of Delhi Police Headquarters. Family members of police joined them. The protest lasted 11 hours. It ended after promise of review petition against Delhi High Court order on Tis Hazari incident, medical assistance to injured policemen and 25,000 rupees ex-gratia payment to injured policemen.
On Saturday, 2/11/2109 at Tis Hazari court a lawyer refused to follow the instruction of a policeman regarding parking of his vehicle. Soon there were clashes between lawyers and police. Many policemen were beaten up. Lawyers set fire to some vehicles. There was lathi charge. Some lawyers were injured.
On Sunday 3/11/2109, a holiday, Delhi High Court ordered suspension of two police officers and transfer of two police officers, a judicial inquiry and directed that no coercive action against lawyers. This angered police. Special Commissioner of Police Sanjay Singh and Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Harinder Singh were transferred. Justice (retd) S. P. Garg was appointed to conduct judicial inquiry into Tis Hazari court incident.
On 4/11/2109 lawyers thrashed a policeman at Saket Court.
Bar Council of India condemned hooliganism by lawyers. However it does not want any trial of a lawyer in a criminal case. Lawyers who committed crimes like arson and thrashing police should be tried.
Delhi Police is under central government. It reports to Lieutenant Governor. Home Minister Amit Shah is said to be unhappy about the protest and how it was handled.
Protesting police persons remembered Kiran Bedi who had refused to succumb to pressure from lawyers and suspend police officers. When lawyers were out of control she had ordered lathi charge.
When lawyers go on strike cases in courts should proceed without them. If policemen are not safe they can not protect others. Lawyers are not above the law. Lawyers who commit crimes should face the consequences.

MH 2019

The results of Maharashtra and Haryana Legislative Assembly elections are out and new governments are to be formed in next few days.
In Maharashtra out of 288 seats BJP won 105, Shiv Sena 56, NCP 54 and Congress 44. BJP had hoped to cross 144. Last time BJP had won 122 seats. It was not in alliance with Shiv Sena. Devendra Fadnavis made virtue of necessity and talked of 70% strike rate.
Devendra Fadnavis, first BJP CM of Maharashtra, completed term as CM and set to be CM again. His predecessors from 1972 onwards had not completed term. Some became chief ministers twice or more times.
In Haryana out of 90 seats BJP won 40, Congress 31, JJP 10, HLP 1, INLD 1 and independents 7. BJP had hoped to cross 75. Last time BJP had won 47 seats. First BJP wanted to form government with independents and Gopal Kanda of Haryana Lokhit Party. Gopal Kanda was taken in plane to Delhi. He fancied himself as kingmaker. Soon there was criticism of BJP for taking help of Gopal Kanda who was accused of abetment of suicide of Geetika Sharma who was an air hostess in Murli Dhar Lakh Ram Airlines. BJP dumped Gopal Kanda and went for alliance with JJP. Dushyant Chautala will be Deputy CM.
Exit polls were mostly wrong. Their forecast was in Haryana BJP will get 52-80 seats and in Maharashtra BJP-Shiv Sena will get 204-243 seats. India Today – Axis My Poll forecast of 32-44 for BJP in Haryana and 166-194 for BJP-Shiv Sena in Maharashtra was close to the results.
There were some by elections in some states. Udayanraje Bhonsle had won Lok Sabha election from Satara as NCP candidate and had quit just after three and half months to join BJP on 14/9/2019. This time he contested as BJP candidate and lost. In Gujarat, Alpesh Thakor who had quit Congress to contest again as BJP candidate lost from Radhanpur.