New Delhi: The Supreme Court concluded Wednesday hearing in the politically sensitive case of Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya and reserved the judgement. The bench heard for 40 days the arguments of the Hindu and the Muslim sides. It is the second longest hearing in the history of the Supreme Court.
A five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, granted three days to contesting parties to file written notes on ‘moulding of relief’ or narrowing down the issues on which the court is required to adjudicate. The other members of the bench are justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer.
The protracted hearing in the Ayodhya dispute had entered the crucial final leg October 14 when the apex court resumed proceedings on the 38th day after the week-long Dussehra break.
The Constitution Bench, which started the day-to-day proceedings August 6 after mediation proceedings failed to find an amicable solution to the vexatious dispute, had revised the deadline for wrapping up the proceedings.
Fourteen 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 land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties – the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
Initially, five lawsuits were filed in the lower court. The first one was filed by Gopal Singh Visharad, a devotee of ‘’Ram ‘alla”, in 1950 to seek enforcement of the right to worship of Hindus at the disputed site.
In the same year, the Paramahansa Ramachandra Das had also filed the lawsuit for continuation of worship and keeping the idols under the central dome of the now-demolished disputed structure.
Earlier, the apex court bench had said it would wrap up the hearing by October 17, a day sooner than the earlier schedule.
Fixing the schedule for the final leg of the lengthy arguments, it had said that the Muslim side would complete the arguments October 14 and thereafter, two days would be granted to the Hindu parties to sum up their rejoinders by October 16.
The judgment in the matter is to be pronounced by November 17, the day the Chief Justice of India will demit the office.