On Supreme Court table from July 1: Ayodhya, Rafale and Rahul Gandhi
The Supreme Court upon reopening on July 1 after a six-week summer vacation will deal with the Ayodhya land dispute, review pleas in the Rafale case and the contempt case against Rahul Gandhi for wrongly attributing to the court his 'chowkidar chor hai' slogan.
The top court, which would function with its full judicial strength of 31 judges, is likely to deliver its verdict in the review pleas in the Rafale case.
The petitions, including the one filed by ex-Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, and lawyer Prashant Bhushan, seek a review of the apex court's December 14, 2018, judgment dismissing all pleas challenging the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.
Also, a three-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi would decide the fate of BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi's contempt plea against Rahul Gandhi for wrongly attributing to the top court his 'chowkidar chor hai' jibe against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Rahul has already tendered an unconditional apology for it and sought the closure of the case.
The outcome of the in-camera mediation proceedings, undertaken by a three-member panel headed by former apex court judge Justice F.M. I. Kallifulla, to find an amicable solution to the politically-sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute, would be watched with bated breath.
The mediation committee, which has spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu, is 'optimistic' about finding an amicable solution. It has been granted time till August 15 by a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Gogoi.
Fourteen appeals have been filed in the Supreme Court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment that said the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be divided equally among three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
Besides these, the apex court will have to deal with a PIL seeking a probe and lodging of an FIR against activist lawyers Indira Jaising, Anand Grover and their NGO, Lawyers Collective, for allegedly violating rules relating to receipt and utilisation of foreign funds.
The PIL has been filed by Lawyers' Voice, a voluntary organisation of advocates.
The top court would also dealing with the PIL of lawyer and BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay challenging the constitutional validity of Article 370, which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir and limits Parliament's power to make laws for the state. It would also be dealing a host of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35A, which provides special rights and privileges to natives of Jammu and Kashmir.