A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi will start hearing last argument for sensitive Ayodhya RAMJANBHOOMI case . SC has revised the deadline for wrapping up the proceedings and has fixed it on October 17.
Meanwhile Prohibitory orders under Section 144, which bans the assembly of four or more persons, have been issued in Ayodhya. The order, which came into effect late on Saturday night extends to December 10 and was passed “in anticipation of verdict in Ayodhya land case in SC.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) expressed disappointment over the order and has sought permission to light earthen lamps at the disputed site on Diwali. Now all eyes on SC verdict in a long pending case which will larger impact .
Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment 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, as many as five lawsuits were filed in the lower court. The first one was filed by Gopal Singh Visharad, a devotee of ‘Ram Lalla’, in 1950 to seek enforcement of the right to worship of Hindus at the disputed site.
Later, the Nirmohi Akahara also moved the trial court in 1959 seeking management and ‘shebaiti‘ (devotee) rights over the 2.77 acre disputed land.
Then came the lawsuit of the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Wakf Board which moved the court in 1961, claiming title over the disputed property.
The deity, ‘Ram Lalla Virajman‘ through next friend and former Allahabad High Court judge Deoki Nandan Agrawal, and the Janambhoomi (the birthplace) moved the lawsuit in 1989, seeking title over the entire disputed property on the key ground that the land itself has the character of the deity and of a ‘Juristic entity’.
Later, all the lawsuits were transferred to the Allahabad High Court for adjudication after the demolition of the disputed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri masjid structure on December 6, 1992, sparking communal riots in the country.
Earlier, the bench, also comprising justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer, had said it would wrap up the hearing by October 17, a day sooner than the earlier schedule.
Fixing the schedule for the last leg of the lengthy arguments, it had said that the Muslim side would complete the arguments on October 14 and then, two days would be granted to the Hindu parties to sum up their rejoinders by October 16.
October 17 would be the last day for wrapping up the hearing when the parties will have to make the last arguments about the relief they are seeking, the court had said. The bench had earlier fixed the deadline of October 18 to close the hearing.
The judgment in the matter is to be pronounced by November 17, the day the Chief Justice of India will demit the office.
The apex court had on August 6 commenced day-to-day proceedings in the case as the mediation proceedings initiated to find the amicable resolution had failed.