The development comes two days after Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi reconstituted the bench that was to hear the case — after one of the judges on the bench set up earlier this month, Justice U Lalit, recused from hearing it — and fixed January 29 to take up the matter.
The disputed matter won't be taken up due to the non-availability of Justice S A Bobde. A five-judge bench, including CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Ashok Bhushan, Abdul Nazeer, D Y Chandrachud and Bobde, were to hear the matter on January 29.
Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer, who were on a three-judge bench last year with then CJI Dipak Misra when the Ayodhya matter was raised, are now on the five-judge bench along with CJI Gogoi and Justices.
“This is the first time we are reaching out to the NRIs at Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas for a signature campaign,” said Sanjeev Sawhney, secretary-general of Hindu Heritage Foundation, which has set up the stall.
Going by the record, it would appear that when the perpetrators of the violence are minorities, the process of justice is swift. When they form part of organised Hindu militant groups, the fabled long arm of the law barely moves.
These lines could well have been from 26 years ago when Mahant Avaidyanath, Adityanath’s mentor, the head of the Gorakhnath Math and one of the leading lights of the Sangh Parivar’s temple movement, had hit out at the “delay”.
By refusing review, the court has refused to consider the question of whether the freedom of religion protects only practices of particular significance, and not all religious practices. The question of comparative significance of religious practices also remains untouched.