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In a ‘very busy’ final week, CJI Misra added the Bhima-Koregaon case to reserved list of orders

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New Delhi, Sep 24: It would be a busy few days for Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra. He would retire on October 2, which means he has six days more to deliver some very crucial verdicts, that also include the Aadhaar case.

Chief Justice of India Justice Dipak Misra

Adding to the already busy schedule, the Bench headed by Justice Misra had last week reserved its verdict in the Bhima Koregaon case, in which the arrests of five activists allegedly close to naxals had been questioned.

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There is no major verdict from the Bench of the CJI today, which means that there are only five days left for him to deliver the crucial judgments. Moreover the last day in office for Justice Misra is October 2 and that is a holiday.

Ram Temple:

One of the key verdicts that has been reserved for orders is the Ram temple verdict. While the Bench would not decide on the title suit, pending for orders is a legal question by the Muslim appellants. The question that the Bench would answer is whether a Mosque is essential for Islam.

A line in the 1994 judgment in the Ismail Farooqui has been questioned in which it was said that Muslims can pray anywhere in the open. The argument is the Islam will collapse without its Mosques to congregate and pray.

Sabarimala:

A Bench headed by Justice Misra will also deliver its verdict in the Sabarimala case. Under challenge was prohibiting women in the age group of 10 and 51 to enter the Sabarimala Temple.

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Going by the observations that the court had orally made during the hearing, it appears as though the centuries old prohibition may be lifted. The Bench had orally observed that a ban on the entry of women at the Sabarimala Temple is steeped in patriarchy and chauvinism.

The Aadhaar verdict:

This is another major verdict that a Bench headed by Justice Misra would deliver. The validity of Aadhaar was questioned and the court saw extensive arguments, which also included a presentation being given by the UIDAI chief.

The UIDAI maintained that Aadhaar was unique due to its pan-India appeal. Further the UIDAI also contended that there was no threat to privacy and the data was secure. The Bench however observed on various occasions that citizens must be given a choice of identities to access services.

Adultery:

A Constitution Bench headed by the Chief Justice had also reserved its verdict on a challenge to the provision of adultery.

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It was argued that the provision under Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code treats a woman as a commodity owned by husband. Further it was stated that the provision violates the constitutional concepts of sensitivity and gender equality.

The Bhima-Koregaon case:

Under challenge was the arrests of 5 persons alleged to be sympathetic towards the naxalites. On the day the hearing began, the Bench had ordered that these persons be placed under house arrest and during the subsequent hearings, the order was extended.

The petitioner, Romila Thapar argued that the arrests were a move to quell dissent. However the Centre said that these persons were a threat to national security and even questioned the rationale of bypassing the lower courts and the high court and approaching the Supreme Court.

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