The Supreme Court on Thursday, February 8 heard a batch of petitions challenging 2010 Allahabad High Court order in the politically-sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case. The apex court has set the next date of hearing on March 14 on a batch of petitions on the disputed plot at Ayodhya.
According to News18, the Supreme Court said it will finish the case in one go once it starts hearing it. The top court had asked the advocates on records to ensure that all required documents are translated, filed and numbered before the apex court Registry. "We are not rejecting at the moment the plea of certain individuals seeking to intervene in the case," said the apex court.
SC has asked the concerned parties to file in the English translation of documents exhibited by them before the Allahabad High Court within two weeks. The pro-Mandirians are relying on excerpts of certain vernacular books that backs their claim. The apex court has also directed its Registry to provide copies of video cassettes, which were part of HC records, to parties on actual cost.
The special SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, also rejected the petition filed by Shyam Benegal and others for building a hospital at the disputed site. The CJI also said that the court would treat the case as a land dispute only. The bench, also comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer, had made clear on December 5 last year, that it would begin final hearing on the petitions from February 8.
Senior lawyers like Kapil Sibal and Rajeev Dhavan had argued that the civil appeals should be either referred to a five or seven-judge bench or postponed till 2019 keeping in mind the consequences of the judgment in the country.
In 2010, a three-judge bench of the Allahabad High Court, in a 2:1 majority ruling, had ordered that the land should be partitioned equally among the concerned three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara, and Ram Lalla.
The top court has also clarified that no new party will be added in the case. This means that the dispute will be discussed only for the concerning three parties. It has also clarified that it will not entertain any emotional and political appeals and will only be considered on the basis of law.
On December 6, 1992, the Babri Masjid was demolished by lakhs of karsevaks, triggering communal riots across the country. The movement to demolish the mosque was led by members of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
In May 2017, a special Central Bureau of Investigation court granted bail to accused LK Advani and other BJP leaders like Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti in the mosque demolition case.
Commenting on the ruling, Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut said that their government is at the Centre and state and that they shouldn't wait for court's decision to build Ram Mandir on the disputed land.
Meanwhile, the Ayodhya Sadbhavna Samnvyay Maha Samiti has proposed the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) requesting that the disputed site be given to the Hindu parties. They also said that a mosque can be built on the land “that will be made available by the Nirmohi Akhara”.