Ayodhya Case: The Supreme Court will start final hearing in the long-standing Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute today. The appeal, which was last heard on December 5, 2017, is before a three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, and also comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer.
The bench had clarified on December 5, 2017 that he would start the final hearing on February 8 from these petitions and asked the parties to hand over the relevant legal papers in this regard.
Senior lawyers, Kapil Sibal, had pleaded that the hearing should be postponed. Appearing for UP Sunni Central Waqf Board, Kapil Sibal had said that the hearing should be postponed to July 2019, Kapil Sibal Said that it be held after the Lok Sabha elections 2019. The lawyers had also appeals should be handed over to either the bench of five or seven judges.
Hearing In The Ayodhya Case
The bench, also comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, are starting the hearing at 2 pm today.
The court was before expected to hold day-to-day hearing but this may not be at once possible because Chief Justice Dipak Misra is before now part of the Constitution Bench hearing the challenge against the Aadhaar law.
The petitions before the judges relate to the 2010 verdict of the Allahabad High Court in the title suit that had been awaiting for nearly six decades. The dispute before the court was whether the 2.7 acres of disputed land on which the Babri Masjid stood before it was demolished on December 6, 1992, belongs to the Sunni Central Waqf Board or to the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha.
The high court selected two-thirds of the land to Hindus and said they could keep a makeshift temple built over the razed mosque’s central dome. Both Hindu and Muslim organization appealed to the Supreme Court, which, in March this year, advised them to settle for an out-of-court settlement.
Muslims make up about 13% of India’s population. Properties owned by the community are handled by the Sunni Waqf Board which was given a third of the land in the 2010 judgment.
At the last hearing, Kapil Sibal, Dushyant Dave and Rajiv Dhawan, on behalf of different Muslim petitioners, had argued that the hearings must be postponed as building a Ram temple at the disputed site is a part of the ruling BJP’s proposal.
Chief Justice Dipak Misra had spoken “shock and surprise” at the suggestion, asserting that the judges were “not troubled about what’s happening outside”.
The Chief Justice had also censured the senior lawyers for the behavior in which they argued. “Raising voices will never be tolerated. Argue on legal values. Raising voice shows incompetency not worthy of senior lawyers,” Chief Justice Misra had said, critical their behavior.
Kapil Sibal’s said in court had provoked a biggest political argument outside too, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking at election rallies in Gujarat why he connected the Ram temple to common elections. The BJP has accused the Congress of trying delay verdict in the case and said it firmly favors an early decision.
Thousands of right-wing activists had razed the Babri mosque in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, claiming it was built on a temple marking the birthplace of Lord Ram, which was destroyed in the 16th century. 2,000 people were killed in the riots in the Babri Masjid demolition.