A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Saturday pronounced its verdict in the politically sensitive Ramjanmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case. The bench, led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, has justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer as other members.
Here's a brief profile of the judges who will deliver the historic verdict:
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi:
Ranjan Gogoi took over as the Chief Justice of India on October 3, 2018. Gogoi started his career at the Guwahati High Court, where he went on to become a judge as well. In 2011, he became the chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
In 2012, Gogoi became a Supreme Court judge. Besides the Ayodhya case, Justice Gogoi has also adjudicated other important cases, including NRC. He has also heard several of the petitions concerning events in the aftermath of abrogation of Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde:
Justice Bobde, 63, hails from Maharashtra. His father, Arvind Bobde, was the advocate-general of Maharashtra while his brother has served in the Supreme Court.
Justice Bobde has been a judge for nearly two decades since he joined the Bombay High Court as an additional judge. In 2012, he was appointed as Madhya Pradesh Chief Justice. In April 2013, he was further elevated to Supreme Court.
In a landmark judgment, Justice Bobde in 2016 banned the sale of firecrackers in New Delhi keeping in view the deteriorating air quality.
Justice DY Chandrachud:
Justice Chandrachud became a Supreme Court judge in 2016. His father Yashwant Vishnu Chandrachud served as the Chief Justice of India from 1978 to 1985. Before he became a Supreme Court judge, DY Chandrachud was the chief justice of the Allahabad High Court. He has been a part of the benches that pronounced verdicts in the significant Sabarimala, Bhima Koregaon and Section 377 cases.
Strikingly, Justice Chandrachud often writes individual judicial opinions, even if he agrees with the majority ruling—a rare measure of engagement.
Justice Ashok Bhushan:
Justice Bhushan started his journey as a legal practitioner in 1979 from the Allahabad High Court. Over two decades later in 2001, he was appointed a judge at the Allahabad High Court. Justice Bhushan was transferred to the Kerala High Court in 2014 before he became the chief justice there a year later. He became a Supreme Court judge in 2016.
Justice S Abdul Nazeer:
Justice S Abdul Nazeer started practising as a lawyer in the Karnataka High Court way back in 1983. He worked as an additional judge in 2003 before becoming a permanent judge a year later. Justice Nazeer was elevated to the post of Supreme Court judge in 2017.
He is one among a very few in India who became a Supreme Court judge without becoming chief justice of any of the High Courts in the country.