Ayodhya: SC to setup new Bench by January 10
New Delhi: A new bench will be set up to hear the sensitive Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi title suit of Ayodhya before January 10, the Supreme Court said on Friday, 4th January 2019, putting off decisions on requests to fast track the case. Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the appropriate orders on the hearings would be issued by the new bench.
The top court, which adjourned the hearing also dismissed a fresh petition that asked the top court to give a reasoned order why the Ayodhya case is not being taken up on a “priority order”.
The Supreme Court was hearing more than a dozen petitions against the Allahabad high court judgment of 2010 that had ordered partition of the 2.77 acre of disputed land in Ayodhya among three parties, namely, deity Ram Lalla, the Nirmohi Akhara and the Sunni Waqf Board.
The matter has been pending in the Supreme Court since 2010. During the hearing in the Supreme Court, other issues also came for up adjudication. One of the issues was the question that whether mosquewas an integral part of Islam.
On September 27 last year, the Supreme Court settled the question by refusing to revisit a 1994-judgment on the matter. The focus in the Supreme Court now shifted to the Ayodhya title dispute. In October, the court posted the matter for hearing in the first week of January this year.
When the Supreme Court turned down a similar request from the Uttar Pradesh government and the lawyer who represents Ram Lalla to begin hearing on the matter after the Diwali break, organisations such as the RSS, the VHP and even the BJP expressed their unhappiness.
The court’s decision was to favour the call for delaying settlement of the Ayodhya dispute till 2019 Lok Sabha election around April-May. This was followed by demands for bringing an Ordinance for early construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site.
Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke on the issue. He suggested that any decision on ordinance for Ram temple could be taken only after the completion of judicial process.
The Ayodhya title dispute is being fought in the court since 1940s. The Faizabad district court declared in 1949 that parties representing Muslims, Hindus and Nirmohi Akhara as joint title holders of the disputed land in Ayodhya. Sixty-one years later, the Allahabad High Court gave a similar judgment.