SC refuses to hear Ayodhya title cases post 2019 polls
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the vehement submission of Sunni Waqf Board and others that hearing of appeals in the sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute be conducted in July 2019 after the general elections and fixed February 8 to hear them.
A special bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also "prima facie" declined the demand put by a battery of senior lawyers including Kapil Sibal and Rajeev Dhavan that the appeals be either referred to a five or seven-judge bench, keeping in mind the sensitive nature of the case and its ramifications on the country's secular fabric and polity.
The bench, also comprising Justices Ashok Bhusan and S A Nazeer, asked the advocates on records (AoRs), dealing with as many 14 civil appeals against the 2010 judgement of the Allahabad High Court in the land dispute, to sit together and ensure that all requisite documents are translated, filed and numbered before the apex court Registry.
In case of any problem, they were directed to consult the Registry, it said, while fixing February 8 to hear the appeals against the Allahabad High Court order. The special apex court bench is hearing a total of 14 appeals filed against this judgement in four civil suits.
A three-judge bench of the Allahabad High Court, in a 2:1 majority ruling, had in 2010 ordered that the land is partitioned equally among three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
Tuesday's hearing witnessed high drama with lawyers representing the Sunni Waqf Board, and the Babri Masjid Action Committee, virtually threatening to walk out of the proceedings as the bench asked senior advocate C S Vaidyanathan, representing the deity Ram Lalla Virajman, to commence his submissions in the case.
Meanwhile, ahead of the anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid, the Centre has asked all states to remain cautious and ensure that there was peace and no incident of communal tension anywhere in the country.