Edit: A fine balance

The Supreme Court has put an end to a conflict that lasted for centuries, by delivering a balanced and nuanced verdict in the Ayodhya issue. Everyone is heaping laurles on Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and other members of the bench, for their handling of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit and delivering the judgement on the fractious issue. The apex in a unanimous verdict on Saturday cleared the way for the construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site at Ayodhya, and directed the Centre to allot a 5-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a mosque.

At a book launch event in Guwahati, Chief Justice-Designate S A Bobde said Justice Gogoi’s ‘grit, mettle and character’ are so strong that it is difficult to get anything wrong passed. Justice Gogoi, however, declined to comment on the verdict at the programme on Sunday. ‘I do not wish to get into any contentious issue. This is not the occasion,’ he said. ‘I consider myself to be privileged to have worked with Justice Gogoi, whose grit, mettle and character are so strong that it is difficult to get anything wrong passed,’ Justice Bobde said. Justice Gogoi’s sense of justice by taking along everybody is so strong that he does not do anything unless all concerned give consent, he added.

Another senior judge, Justice Arun Mishra, said Justice Gogoi decided the ‘most important indecision’ that the country was facing. ‘He has achieved impossible with the 1,000-page judgement within two-three weeks. This is rather the most impossible task achieved by his regime. He shows not determination to decide that case, but what the Supreme Court has capability of doing and what it can achieve. You made a name in history,’ he said. The judiciary is going through a critical phase, where people want to control everything but Justice Gogoi has provided the insulation, courage and quality through his decisions, Justice Mishra said. ‘I see when Justice Gogoi is retiring in few days, he is demiting the office in most difficult times. Justice Bobde’s task to take over is not easy,’ the fourth senior-most judge of the apex court said. The Supreme Court has once again proved that judiciary is the last hope for people when other things fail. Let justice prevails in the coming days too.

NT Bureau