The Supreme Court will now hear the Ayodhya case on January 29. Justice Uday Umesh Lalit recused himself from hearing the case after a lawyer pointed out that he had, appeared for one of the parties nearly two decades ago. A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi was hearing the contentious Ram Temple case. In October last year, the Supreme Court had decided to take up the matter on January 4 before the “appropriate bench”. However, on January 4, the matter was adjourned till January 10 in the hearing the lasted less than a minute.
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Rajeev Dhawan, who brought up the matter of UU Lalit being a lawyer from Kalyan Singh, said that he had no objection to the judge hearing the Ayodhya case.
"I am bringing it to Your Lordships notice though we don’t have objection to him hearing the matter. It is entirely upto Your Lordships," Dhawan told the Supreme Court.
On September 27, 2017, a three-judge bench of the top court had rejected a plea seeking to refer to the five-judge Constitution Bench for reconsideration of its observations in the 1994 verdict that a mosque wasn't an integral part of Islam. The issue had arisen during the hearing of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case.
Besides CJI, the other four justices of the Constitution Bench are in line to be the Chief Justice in the future. When justice Gogoi's term ends, his successor would be Justice Bobde followed by Justices Ramana, Lalit and Chandrachud.
Who is Justice UU Lalit?