ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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India’s First Per Curiam

The Ayodhya Verdict

A per curiam opinion seeks to project the court as a resolute bloc in unanimous verdicts by concealing the identity of the author(s). However, arbitrarily employing anonymity, without due regard to legal tradition and reason, adversely impacts accountability and transparency in the judiciary. As such, it is important to evaluate the Supreme Court of India’s choice of anonymity in the momentous Ayodhya decision.

The author would like to gratefully acknowledge the valuable comments and suggestions of the anonymous reviewer.

Much has been said about the Ayodhya verdict (M Siddiq [D] Thr Lrs v Mahant Suresh Das and Ors [2020]). Perhaps no piece of writing will ever be able to convey the meaning it will hold for history. To some, the verdict brings closure to a bitter and bloody fight that tore two communities apart. Some will remember it as a vindication of deeply held religious beliefs, while to some the judgment is nothing but a final blow to secularism, an ushering in of majoritarian rule. Yet again to some, it will never be more than a protracted title suit over 2.77 acres of land.

But in the midst of this is a single, undeniable truth of the verdict. It is the Supreme Court of Indias only anonymous judgment to ever be written, marking the first departure from an unbroken constitutional heritage of identifying the authors of a judicial opinion.

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Published On : 12th Jan, 2024

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