NEW DELHI: Ahead of the landmark verdict in the politically-sensitive Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case on Saturday, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi's security has been upgraded to Z-plus. Justice Gogoi, who is due to retire on November 17, heads the five-member Constitution bench that concluded hearing the case on October 16.
The other members of the bench are Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer. According to reports, their security cover has been upgraded as well. The Z-plus security cover - one of the highest in the country - is provided by one of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), preferably the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
The Supreme Court will pronounce its historic judgement in the decades-old Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case today. The landmark verdict will be delivered at 10:30 am.
The top court will deliver its verdict on a batch of petitions challenging September 30, 2010, Allahabad High Court order, which trifurcated the 2.77 acres disputed land between the Nirmohi Akhara, the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board, and Ramlalla Virajman.
The case was heard by a five-judge Constitution Bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan, and S Abdul Nazeer for a marathon 40 days on a day-to-day basis and reserved its order on October 16.
Hearing in the case commenced on August 6 after the court-appointed mediation panel, comprising of spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Justice (retired) FMI Kalifullah and senior advocate and renowned mediator Sriram Panchu failed to arrive at an out-of-court settlement in the case.
The 40-day long proceedings turned out to be the second-longest hearing in the history of the Supreme Court, after the historic Kesavananda Bharati case which went on for 68 days.
On Friday, Justice Gogoi held an hour-long meeting with UP Chief Secretary Rajendra Kumar Tiwari and Director General of Police Om Prakash Singh who apprised him about the security arrangements made to maintain law and order in the state.
Multi-layered security arrangements have been put in place in Ayodhya, which has been turned into a fortress with the deployment of 60 companies (90-125 personnel each) of the PAC and paramilitary forces. Drones and CCTV cameras will also be used to monitor the situation ahead of the verdict.