The Supreme Court on Friday deferred till January 10 hear on a batch of petitions in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case. A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul said the matter will be heard on the said date by a new bench."Further orders will be passed by an appropriate bench on January 10 for fixing the date of hearing the matter," the bench comprising CJI Gogoi and Justice Kaul said. There were no arguments from either side during the hearing which barely lasted 60 seconds.
Senior advocates Harish Salve and Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for different parties, did not even get the opportunity to make any submission.
Earlier, it was expected that the apex court may constitute a three-judge bench for hearing as many as 14 appeals filed against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgement, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land be partitioned equally among the three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
The apex court on October 29 had fixed the matter in the first week of January before an "appropriate bench", which will decide the schedule of hearing. 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 on the matter.
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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.
Earlier on September 27, a three-judge bench constitution of the Supreme Court by 2:1 majority, refused to refer to a five-judge constitution bench the issue of reconsideration of the observations in its 1994 judgement that a mosque was not integral to Islam. The matter had arisen during the hearing of the Ayodhya land dispute.
Various Hindu organisations have been demanding an ordinance on early construction of Ram temple at the disputed site.
Earlier on Friday, in an exclusive interview to ANI, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that bringing bringing in an ordinance on the Ram Mandir issue will be considered only after the Supreme Court has pronounced a decision on the matter.
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(With PTI inputs)