SC asks Allahabad HC to name two senior judicial officers as observers in Ayodhya

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court to appoint two senior judicial officers who would be observers for upkeep and maintenance of the disputed Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site at Ayodhya.

Asking the Chief Justice to appoint two observers from the Additional District and Sessions Judges from amongst the six districts around Ayodhya, the bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer gave 10 days time to complete the exercise.

Referring to the list, furnished to the court, of the Additional District and Sessions Judge at Faizabad, Basti, Gonda, Barabanki, Sultanpur and Ambedkar Nagar districts, the court in its order said: “As the list is long, we think it appropriate that the learned Chief Justice of the High Court of Allahabad shall nominate two officers in the cadre of Additional District and Sessions Judge or Special Judge keeping in view the tenor and nature of the earlier orders.”

The court directed its registry to forward a copy of the order along with the list to the Registrar General of the Allahabad High Court, who shall place the same before the Chief Justice of the High Court.

“The … Chief Justice is requested to nominate two names from the above-mentioned list within 10 days hence”, the court said in its order.

The need for the fresh appointment of the two observers arose as one of the two earlier observers T.M. Khan and S.K. Singh has retired and other has been elevated as the judge of the High Court.

Senior counsel Kapil Sibal who appeared for one of the parties urged the court to continue with the earlier duo as both were functioning as observers for last 14 years.

However, the court did not accept it saying that person who is observer should be a part of the system.

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