New Delhi: Was the landmark verdict on the Ayodhya Babri masjid demolition case by the Supreme Court a matter of celebration for the very controversy looming over it?
The retired Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, who pronounced the contentious verdict, shared a photograph of a dinner in a luxury hotel with other judges who were in the Bench with a caption 'Celebrating the Landmark Ayodhya Verdict' in his new book.
When the question was raised "was the verdict a matter of celebration" during an interview with the NDTV, he disclaimed words in the photo caption in the book saying it was not a celebration but was a gathering of friends after four-month of arduous works.
Justice Gogoi narrates the evening of the day when the landmark verdict on the Ayodhya case had been delivered in his autobiography titled "Justice for the Judge" as this "In the evening (of delivering the verdict), I took the judges for dinner to Taj Mansingh Hotel. We ate Chinese food and shared a bottle of wine, the best available there. I picked the tab, being the eldest."
He tried to answer the question the NDTV anchor shot at him by saying it was normal to taste outside food when you go out with friends and posed a counter-question "did we commit something that is not permissible?"
Justice Gogoi admitted that being a member of a bench that heard sexual allegations against him was a wrong practice. A Supreme Court bench comprising Justice Gogoi had heard a case in which Gogoi was accused of sexually harassing a woman staff member of the court.
Gogoi said it is possible to be wrong in some decision where nobody would wish to see a reputation built over forty years of hard work destroyed on a wrong call.