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India Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case hearing dates to be decided...

Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case hearing dates to be decided by appropriate SC bench on 10 January

Before the lawyers on either side could make their submissions, CJI Ranjan Gogoi passed the order on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case; Friday's hearing did not last even 30 seconds

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday said that an appropriate bench constituted by it will pass an order on 10 January for fixing the date of hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute title case.

“Further orders will be passed by an appropriate bench on January 10 for fixing the date for hearing the matter,” a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice SK Kaul said.

No sooner the matter came up, the CJI said it is the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case and went ahead with passing the order. Senior advocates Harish Salve and Rajeev Dhawan, appearing for different parties, did not even get the opportunity to make any submission. The hearing did not even last 30 seconds. 

Now, a three-member bench will be set up for taking forward the Ayodhya land dispute case in which as many as 14 appeals were filed against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgement, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land be partitioned equally among the three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The apex court on 29 October had fixed the matter in the first week of January before the “appropriate bench”.

Later, an application was moved for according an urgent hearing by advancing the date, but the top court had refused the plea, saying it had already passed an order on 29 October relating to the hearing of the matter.

The plea for early hearing was moved by the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) which is one of the respondents in the appeal filed by legal heirs of M Siddiq, one of the original litigants in the case.

A three-judge bench of the top court had on 27 September last year, by 2:1 majority, refused to refer to a five-judge constitution bench the issue of reconsideration of the observations in its 1994 judgement that a mosque was not integral to Islam. The matter had arisen during the hearing of the Ayodhya land dispute.

Various Hindutva organisations have been demanding an ordinance on early construction of Ram temple at the disputed site.

The hearing on Friday assumed importance as Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday had suggested any decision on an ordinance on Ram temple in Ayodhya can happen only after the completion of the judicial process.

Modi’s comments had come amidst heightened demands by Hindutva organisations, including the RSS, for an ordinance for early construction of the temple.

“Let the judicial process take its own course. Don’t weigh it in political terms. Let the judicial process be over. After the judicial process is over, whatever be our responsibility as government, we are ready to make all efforts,” the prime minister had said during an interview, broadcast by several TV channels.

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