Former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Saturday said the Ayodhya dispute was one of the “most fiercely-contested cases” in India’s legal history in which every juncture was hotly debated and passionately argued by the counsels, reported PTI. Gogoi had presided over the five-judge bench of the Supreme Court that had pronounced a verdict in favour of a temple at the site of the demolished Babri Masjid.

“One of the most fiercely contested cases in India’’s legal history, the Ayodhya case, will always hold a special place,” Gogoi said. He was speaking at the book launch of journalist Mala Dixit’s book Ayodhya to Adalat Se Bhagwan Shri Ram.

“Multi-dimensional issues called for a final resolution on the basis of voluminous records including oral and documentary evidence which had to be translated from a host of different languages,” he added. “Every point was hotly contested and passionately argued by a renowned group of lawyers who represented the contesting parties.”

Gogoi said that arriving at a judgement in the case was a challenging task “for several reasons”, according to News18. But the support extended by eminent lawyers to the bench in the 40-day continuous hearing was unprecedented, he added.

The book launch in Delhi was also attended by former Supreme Court judge Gyan Sudha Mishra, ex-high court judge SR Singh and journalists BR Mani, Ram Bahadur Rai and NK Singh.

Mishra said that people usually have a “lot of anguish” against the court and complain that judicial remedy takes a lot of time. “This case also took time, but when the Supreme Court showed readiness and gave a decision, everyone appreciated it,” he added.

In a landmark verdict on November 9, the Supreme Court had ruled that the disputed land in Ayodhya would be handed over to a government-run trust for the construction of a Ram temple. The court said that the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992 was “an egregious violation of the rule of law” and directed the government to acquire an alternative plot of land to build a mosque.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke ground on the temple on August 5 in an elaborate ceremony. On August 20, the Ram Janmabhoomi Trust said that the construction of the temple has begun and would be completed within three to three and a half years.

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