New Delhi | The Supreme Court Monday declined early hearing of petitions in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case. A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul said it had already listed the appeals before the appropriate bench in January.
“We have already passed the order. The appeals are coming up in January. Permission declined,” the bench said while rejecting the request of early hearing of lawyer Barun Kumar Sinha, appearing for the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha. The top court had earlier 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.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and senior advocate CS Vaidyanathan, appearing for the UP government and deity Ramlala respectively, had sought early listing of the appeals in the case after referring to their long pendency.
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 of the Allahabad High Court 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 on the basis of evidence. It had also said that the previous verdict has no relevance to this issue.
As many as 14 appeals have been filed against the high court judgement, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77 acre land be partitioned equally among three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.