SC defers final hearing in Ayodhya matter to Feb 2018

RSTV Bureau
File photo of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, Nov, 1990. The Supreme Court on Wednesday revived the 25-year-old trial in the Babri Masjid demolition case by allowing fresh charges of criminal conspiracy against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders L.K. Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and 13 others. PTI Photo

File photo of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, Nov, 1990. The Supreme Court on Wednesday revived the 25-year-old trial in the Babri Masjid demolition case by allowing fresh charges of criminal conspiracy against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders L.K. Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and 13 others. PTI Photo

The Supreme Court has decided to hear the civil appeals filed by various parties challenging the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute on February 8 next year.

A specially constituted bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer is hearing a total of 13 appeals filed against the 2010 judgement of the Allahabad High Court in four civil suits.

The bench also asked the Advocates on Record of appeals to sit together and ensure that all the requisite documents are translated, filed and numbered before the apex court Registry.

In case of any problem, the counsel were directed to consult the Registry.

The bench took serious note of the submission of senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for one of the parties, that the appeals be heard in July 2019 after completion of the next Lok Sabha polls as the atmosphere at present was not conducive.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, vehemently opposed contentions that the pleadings were not complete and asserted that everything has been complied with and the cases were ripe for hearing.

A three-judge bench of the Allahabad High Court, in a 2:1 majority ruling, had ordered that the land be partitioned equally among three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and the deity, Ram Lalla.

The top court had on August 11 asked the UP government to complete within 10 weeks the translation of the evidence recorded for adjudication of the title dispute in the high court. It had said it would not allow the matter to take any shape other than the civil appeals and would adopt the same procedure as was done by the high court.

Many of the original plantiffs and defendants in the matter including Mohd Hashim, who was the first person to take the matter to the apex court, have died.

(With inputs from PTI)