Five-judge Supreme Court bench to hear pleas in Ayodhya case on January 10

A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court will hear pleas in the much-talked-about Ayodhya case on January 10, 2018. The bench will be headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and include four other judges - Justice SA Bobde, Justice NV Ramana, Justice UU Lalit and Justice DY Chandrachud.

The top court is likely to hear as many as 14 appeals filed against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgement, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land be partitioned equally among the three parties - the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The court on October 29 had fixed the matter in the first week of January before an "appropriate bench".

Later, an application was moved for according an urgent hearing by advancing the date, but the top court had refused the plea, saying it had already passed an order on October 29 relating to the hearing on the matter.

The plea for early hearing was moved by the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) which is one of the respondents in the appeal filed by legal heirs of M Siddiq, one of the original litigants in the case.

A three-judge bench of the top court had on September 27, by 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. Various Hindutava organisations have been demanding an ordinance on early construction of Ram temple at the disputed site.

The Babri mosque which stood at the site was demolished in 1992.


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