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Heard At Chief Justice Farewell

Lawyer Vikas Singh also referred to Chief Justice Bobde’s passion for bikes (File)

New Delhi:

Outgoing Chief Justice SA Bobde wanted Shah Rukh Khan to mediate the Ayodhya temple-mosque dispute and the actor had even agreed, but it did not work out. The anecdote came up during a virtual farewell for Justice Bobde today.

Vikas Singh, the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, dropped the nugget during his tribute to Justice Bobde.

“Justice Bobde asked me whether Shah Rukh Khan was willing to mediate in the Ayodhya dispute. I spoke with SRK and he was happy to be in the mediation but unfortunately, mediation did not work,” Mr Singh said, as Justice Bobde listened.

The three members on the Supreme Court-appointed mediation panel were former top court judge FMI Kalifulla, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior lawyer Sriram Panchu.

The mediation panel, tasked with “healing hearts and minds”, held several rounds of talks but failed to come up with a solution. Then Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi then decided that the case would be heard by the Supreme Court.

In 2019, the Supreme Court handed over the site in Ayodhya, claimed by both Hindus and Muslims for decades, for the building of a Ram temple and ordered that Muslims be given alternative land for a mosque.

In his tribute, Vikas Singh also referred to Chief Justice Bobde’s passion for bikes, particularly a Harley Davidson he owned.

“I wanted to sell my Harley Davidson bike. The CJI said why are you selling it? Send it to me. I told him it is heavy but CJI replied he has been riding bikes since his childhood. Because of the bike the Chief Justice got himself fractured,” Mr Singh shared.

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