The Supreme Court on Tuesday commenced day-to-day hearing in the politically sensitive case of Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya. Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, is heading the five-judge Constitution bench conducting the hearing as the mediation process failed to achieve an amicable settlement on the contentious issue. Others in the top court bench include Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer. Track Live Updates on Ayodhya case hearing in Supreme Court.
Ayodhya Hearing: Latest Updates
12:07 am: Counsel of Nirmohi Akhara refers Allahabad HC findings on issues framed in land dispute.
11:45 am: In any case, you have been given one-third of disputed area in preliminary decree by HC: SC to Nirmohi Akhara.
11:39 am: SC asks Nirmohi Akhara to confine its arguments to civil dispute case
11:37 am: We don't want to curtail anybody's arguments, maintain dignity of court: SC to Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for Muslim party.
11:28 am: Have been possessing, managing and worshipping Ram Lalla since time immemorial at the site, says Nirmohi Akhara.
11:26 am: Nirmohi Akhara claims right over disputed 2.77 acre Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land.
11:15 am: I am seeking management and possession of area, says Nirmohi Akhara to SC.
11:12 am: No Muslims were allowed to enter the structure since 1934 and it has been in exclusive possession of Nirmohi Akhara: Lawyer.
11:12 am: Outer courtyard having 'Sita Rasoi', 'Chabutra', 'Bhandar Grah' were in Akhara's possession; never part of dispute in any case, says lawyer.
11:00 am: We were in possession of inner courtyard and Ram Janmasthan for hundreds of years, says Nirmohi Akhara in Supreme Court.
10:57 am: Counsel of Nirmohi Akhara commences arguments in Ayodhya case, says its suit is basically for belongings, possession and management rights.
10:53 am: The case is being explained before the constitution bench in Supreme Court, using a map.
10:44 am: Meanwhile, day-to-day hearing in the top court is continuing over the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute.
10:35 am: Hearing on Ayodhya land dispute begins in Supreme Court.
Ayodhya dispute: What has happened so far | 10 Points
1. On August 2, the five-judge Constitution bench took note of the report of the three-member mediation panel, headed by former apex judge FMI Kalifulla. It said that the mediation proceedings that went on for about four months have not resulted in any final settlement.
2. The bench in its August 2 order had said: "The hearing which will be on day-to-day basis until the arguments are concluded will start with the appeals arising out of the two suits. The learned counsel(s)...in the appeals arising out of the aforesaid suits may, for the convenience of the court, indicate the pleadings and the evidence on which they propose to rely, so that the officials of the Registry can keep the said documents ready for perusal of the court."
3. Meanwhile, KN Govindacharya, a former RSS idealogue, filed a plea seeking live streaming or recording of the day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya case and mentioned it for urgent hearing before a bench on Monday. The top court, however, said it would consider on the administrative side as to whether there would be any recording. The bench said they don't know if they have equipment for live streaming of recording of proceedings. Even though Govindacharya's lawyer insisted court to record the hearing if there was difficulty in live-streaming of the proceedings, the bench refused to accord any urgent hearing to him and observed that it is an issue which is "something institutional."
4. On July 18, the apex court had asked the mediation panel to inform the court about the outcome of their proceedings as on July 31. The mediation panel, also comprising spiritual guru and founder of the Art of Living foundation Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate and renowned mediator Sriram Panchu, had said in its report submitted on Thursday that the Hindu and the Muslim parties have not been able to find a solution to the vexatious dispute.
5. The apex court, which on March 8 referred the matter for mediation, had asked for in-camera proceedings to be completed within eight weeks, but later granted time till August 15 after the panel's earlier report said that the mediators were "optimistic" about an amicable solution.
6. After the bench on August 2 passed the order, senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for a Muslim party had raised several technical issues and said he will need 20 days to argue the various issues arising in the matter in detail and there should not be any curtailment on the hearing. While he was raising different aspects of the matter and how the appeals have to be heard, the bench had told him "don't remind us what we have to do".
"We know there are many aspects and we will deal with all these aspects. Let the hearing start," it had said. Dhavan also raised the issue of pending writ petition filed by senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy and the application filed by a Muslim body. The court which had perused a report about the progress of mediation process till July 18, had said that its contents will remain confidential as per its earlier order.
7. 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.
8. On December 6, 1992, the Babri Masjid, constructed at the disputed site in the 16th century by Shia Muslim Mir Baqi, was demolished.
The central government on January 29 this year moved the apex court seeking its nod to return the 67-acre undisputed acquired land around the disputed site to original owners. The 0.313 acre plot, on which the disputed structure stood before it was demolished by 'kar sevaks' on December 6, 1992, was within the 2.77-acre disputed premises., the plea said. The government had then acquired 67.703 acres, including the 2.77-acre plot, through a legislation in 1993. The Ram Janambhoomi Nyas (RJN) is the owner of as much as 42 acres of the acquired non-disputed land.
9. The Centre's plea said that the RJN (a trust to promote construction of Ram Temple) had also sought return of excess land acquired to original owners. The Centre claimed that only 0.313 acre of land was disputed on which the structure stood before it was demolished by 'kar sevaks' on December 6, 1992.
10. A week later, another petition was filed challenging the constitutional validity of 1993 Central law on land acquisition in Ayodhya near the disputed site, contending that Parliament has no legislative competence to acquire land belonging to the state. Seven individuals, including two Lucknow-based lawyers claiming to be devotees of Ram Lalla, said state legislature has exclusive power to make provisions on management of religious affairs inside its territory. The plea said the Acquisition of Certain Areas of Ayodhya Act, 1993 Act infringes right to religion of Hindus guaranteed and protected by Article 25 of the Constitution of India.