Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Research | By Jo Caldwell

Babri Masjid case: SC to start final hearing on 5 December

Babri Masjid case: SC to start final hearing on 5 December

The high court had ruled a three-way division of the disputed 2.77 acre area at Ayodhya among the parties - the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and the Lord Ram Lalla.

On August 8, the Shia Central Waqf Board of Uttar Pradesh on told the Supreme Court that a mosque could be built in a Muslim-dominated area at a reasonable distance from the disputed site in Ayodhya.

In 1992 a large "group" of Hindus demolished the 16th century Babri Mosque in the UP city of Ayodhya after a political rally at the site turned violent.

The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Yogi Adityanath Government to get the 90,000-page oral evidence in the Ramjanmbhoomi-Babri Masjid case translated in 10 weeks and fixed December 5 to hear cross-appeals in the matter.

Counsel representing the Sunni Central Waqf Board and Nirmohi Akhara wanted the hearing to commence in January 2018 contending they needed more time to prepare their respective case. Senior BJP leader and petitioner Subramanian Swamy has submitted his petition on Fundamental Right to worship on the debated site should be decided first on the priority basis.

The court, however, said it would hear civil appeals and other connected matters would be considered later.

Their stand was strongly opposed by the counsel for Lord Ram Lalla and the UP government which said that nearly seven years have passed since the judgement of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court and the contesting parties should have completed the translation work earlier. In its plea, the Shia board said, "even if Babur ordered for building a mosque, the Wakif is the one who actually creates Waqf by dedicating it to the God. We can't wait for translations", the bench said.

The State government, represented by Additional Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta, displayed visible eagerness to start the hearing in the Supreme Court.

He went to the extent of saying that "the judges were donning the role of registrars". "No adjournments shall be granted for the objective", the bench said. The apex court reached on the consensus after intense deliberation for more than one-and-half-hours.

The petition is likely to be taken up by a three-judge bench of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S Abdul Nazeer at 2 pm on Friday along with cross-appeals filed by various parties. Giving details, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said if the court will dismiss the Opposition party's plea than he won't argue, adding the court has made a decision to listen the opening argument on 5th December.

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