SC Bar Association requests CJI not to pass any adverse orders over absence of lawyers due to Ayodhya ceremony

SCBA President pleads for leniency on lawyers' day of absence during the Ram temple consecration ceremony on Jan 22.
The Supreme Court of India building in New Delhi.
The Supreme Court of India building in New Delhi. (File Photo | EPS)

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Adish C Aggarwala on Sunday had written a letter to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and requested him not to pass any adverse orders against advocates on January 22, the day of 'pran pratishtha' of Ram temple in Ayodhya, due to their non-appearance in cases listed before the apex court.

In a letter written to the CJI, Aggarwala said that the celebrations will commence early in the morning on Monday and continue until late in the evening. There are also simultaneous ceremonies that will take place in temples not only in India but throughout the world.

"I am writing this letter on behalf of the Executive Committee of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) to request your lordship to advise all benches of the Supreme Court not to pass any adverse orders due to non-appearance in any matter listed on January 22, 2024, in light of the 'pran pratishtha (consecration)' of Shree Ram Temple in Ayodhya," he said in his letter.

In his letter, he further stated that "your lordship (CJI) is undoubtedly aware of the significance of this celebration. Some of my Muslim brothers have also approached me to request that your lordship declare it a holiday."

"While acknowledging the importance of maintaining an adequate number of working days, we are specifically requesting that no adverse orders be passed in any case due to the absence of anyone—lawyer or litigant," he said in his letter, written to the CJI.

"Many judges and senior law officers have been invited to Ayodhya, and they may also be participating in the prayers," he said, adding that he would also be attending the prayer ceremony in Ayodhya tomorrow.

"The central government and most state governments (including the Kejriwal government of Delhi) have declared a half-day holiday to provide citizens with the opportunity to participate in this prayer ceremony," he said.

It is to be noted that the five judge bench of the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, including the CJI, who had delivered the historic Ram Mandir verdict on November 9, 2019, have been invited as state guests to participate in the Ayodhya Ram Mandir consecration ceremony on January 22.

The Apex Court's watershed and landmark verdict, which was pronounced on November 9, 2019, was delivered by the former CJIs—Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Sharad Arvind Bobde, and Justices Dr Chandrachud (the present CJI), Ashok Bhushan, and S Abdul Nazeer—who, in 2019, ruled in favour of the Hindu parties and directed to construct the Ram temple by a trust at the disputed site at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh. The bench was headed by former CJI Gogoi.

All five judges have been invited as guests for the consecration ceremony, which will witnessed over 7,000 dignitaries across various arenas. These include top politicians, retired judges, senior and veteran lawyers, legal experts, actors, celebrities, industrialists, sadhus, saints, playback singers, and many others for the event.

Among the other invitees who would witness the significant occasion on January 22 would be many former judges, former CJIs (including EX CJIs; N V Ramana, Uday Unesh Lalit), Solicitor-General General (SG) Tushar Mehta, and former Attorney General (AG) of India K K Venugopal. Notably, Mehta and Venugopal had argued the case for the Uttar Pradesh government and Centre in the Supreme Court in the Ram Mandir case.

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