The Supreme Court today commenced hearing on a batch of petitions challenging 2010 Allahabad High Court order that had ruled a three-way division of the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid area at Ayodhya.
The SC bench, headed by CJI Dipak Misra, rejected the petition filed by Shyam Benegal and others for building a hospital at the disputed site.
Here are the highlights:
03:04 pm: Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut said that our government is at the Centre and state, and that we shouldn't wait for court's decision to build Ram Mandir on the disputed land.
03:03 pm: Subramanian Swamy said that the top court will commence hearing on a regular basis from March 14.
02:51 pm: Supreme Court fixes March 14 as the next date of hearing, as some of the documents & translations are yet to be filed before it.
02:47 pm: The hearing has been deferred to March 14.
02:43 pm: The hearing might be deferred to March 7. Earlier it was deferred to December 5, then today and now it may be deferred to March 7.
02:40 pm: The court has asked to submit the videos related to the case within two weeks. The videos relate to those recorded during ASI excavations carried out in the disputed area.
— ANI (@ANI) February 8, 2018
02:34 pm: The top court has clarified that no new party will be added in the case. This means that the dispute will be discussed for three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Lord Ram deity.
02:27 pm: Supreme Court has clarified that it will not entertain any emotional and political appeals. The case will only be considered on the basis of law.
02:24 pm: Sri Sri Ravishankar holds meeting with Muslim leaders in Bengaluru. This seems yet another mediation attempt by the spiritual leader.
On December 5 last year, the bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer had said that they would resume hearing on the petitions from February 8 after senior lawyers Kapil Sibal, Rajeev Dhavan and Dushyant Dave, appearing for some of the petitioners, had pressed for postponing of the hearing.
The top lawyers had contended that the civil appeals be either referred to a five or seven judge bench or posted in 2019 keeping in mind the sensitive nature of the case and its ramifications on the country's secular fabric and polity.
Sibal, who had appeared for UP Sunni Central Waqf Board, had told the three judge bench that it should not "hear the matter which has repercussions on the polity of the country". Senior counsel Harish Salve, who appeared on the other side, was of the view that for court it was "just a case" and the repercussion of the outcome of the case was none of its outlook.
A three-judge bench of the Allahabad High Court, in a 2:1 majority ruling, had in 2010 ordered that the land be partitioned equally among three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Lord Ram deity.