New Delhi: The Supreme Court delivered the verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case of Ayodhya on Saturday at 10:30 am. After completing the hearing in the case, the apex court had reserved its decision and since then, it was speculated that the decision will come before the retirement of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.
The Supreme Court in a unanimous verdict 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.
Justice Gogoi is slated to retire on November 17. Though the court can sit any day, hear the case and also deliver its verdict, November 17 is a Sunday and usually, the verdict in an important case is not announced on a holiday.
The court's decisions are also not announced on a day the judges retire. Also, November 16 is a Saturday.
Besides, the last working day of Justice Gogoi is November 15. This had led to a speculation that the verdict of the Ayodhya case could be delivered by a bench headed by Justice Gogoi on November 14, or November 15.
Normally, if the court announces a verdict, the next day, the plaintiff or one of the defendants requests the court to review the decision again, and the process generally takes one or two days.
However, neither the court nor the government had earlier indicated that the verdict in the Ayodhya case could come before November 14-15.
Suddenly, on Friday night, it was announced that the verdict on the Ayodhya case will be pronounced at 10:30am on Saturday.
It is believed that this sudden announcement is a part of a strategy to keep the anti-social at bay, so that they do not get any opportunity to prepare for any kind of conspiracy, ahead of the announcement on this sensitive, emotional and faith-related matter.
Meanwhile, all preparations have been put in place to ensure peace in the entire state of Uttar Pradesh, across the country in general, and Ayodhya in particular.
The Centre, as well the state governments have reviewed the security arrangements.
Chief Justice Gogoi has also met the acting Chief Secretary of Uttar, Pradesh Rajendra Tiwari and Director General of Police OP Singh to discuss the security arrangements in the state ahead of the announcement of Ayodhya verdict.
The timing of the verdict is also crucial. Barawafat, a major Muslim festival, will be held on Sunday and Ayodhya will attract lakhs of devotees on Tuesday on the occasion of Kartik Purnima.
Authorities have to be on utmost vigil to ensure crowd management in Ayodhya.