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Ayodhya land dispute: Apex court to fix schedule of hearing in January

Ayodhya land dispute: Apex court to fix schedule of hearing in January
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday fixed the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case for the first week of January before an "appropriate bench", which will decide the schedule of hearing.

A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, said that bench will decide the future course of hearing in January next year on the appeals filed against the Allahabad High Court verdict in the Ayodhya land dispute case.

"We will fix the date of hearing of the Ayodhya dispute case before the appropriate bench in January," said the bench, which also comprised Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and senior advocate CS Vaidyanathan, appearing for the UP government and deity Ramlala respectively, sought early listing of the appeals in the case after referring to their long pendency.

"We have our own priorities. Whether the matter will be heard in January, February or March, the appropriate bench will decide," the bench said.

Earlier, a three-judge bench, by a 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.

The apex court bench headed by the then Chief Justice Dipak Misra had said that the civil suit has to be decided from evidence.

It had also said that the previous verdict has no relevance to this issue.

The bench had fixed the batch of appeals for final hearing today.

As many as 14 appeals have been filed against the high court judgement, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land is partitioned equally among three parties - the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. See P5

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