SC forms 5-judge Bench, Ayodhya trial from Jan 10
A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court will hear the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land title dispute case from January 10. The Bench will be headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and also comprise Justices SA Bobde, NV Ramana, UU Lalit and DY Chandrachud.
“Take notice that the following matters (petitions in the Ayodhya land dispute) will be listed on Thursday the 10th January, 2019 at 10.30 am in Chief Justice’s court before the Constitution Bench comprising the Chief Justice, SA Bobde, NV Ramana, Uday Umesh Lalit and Dr DY Chandrachud, JJ,” said a notice uploaded on the apex court website.
On January 4, the top court had said that further orders in the matter would be passed on January 10 by “the appropriate Bench, as may be constituted”.
As many as 14 appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre be partitioned equally among the three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
The apex court on October 29 last year 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 October 29 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 September 27 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 judgment 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. Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had suggested that any decision on an Ordinance on Ram temple in Ayodhya can happen only after the completion of the judicial process.
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