Starting Monday, Ayodhya-case will get one extra hour at SC
The Supreme Court earnestly wants to complete the arguments in the decades-old Ayodhya case by October 18 and its Friday's statement confirms the same. The five-judge constitutional bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, has agreed to hear the sensitive manner for one extra hour from Monday, September 23. The bench made these remarks on the 28th day of the hearing.
Backstory: A small plot is at center of the case
The Ayodhya matter concerns 2.77 acres of land in the temple town of Uttar Pradesh, where Babri Masjid stood. The 16th-century mosque was demolished by Hindu activists in 1992, sparking widespread riots across the nation. In 2010, the Allahabad High Court divided the land equally among all three parties- the Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhada, and Ram Lalla. Dissatisfied, all three parties approached SC.
The case is being heard daily by SC
For the first time in years, the case gained momentum in the top court, with SC hearing the matter daily from August 6. Notably, the Hindu parties completed their arguments in 16 days and the bench is now hearing the Muslim's side. On Wednesday, CJI Gogoi commented, "Let's make an effort to conclude the same by October 18."
While setting deadline, SC gave mediation another chance
When the SC hinted at concluding arguments soon, it also said that parties can indulge in mediation simultaneously. "The hearing is at an advanced stage, it will continue. But parties are free to resort to mediation simultaneously, to resolve the dispute," CJI Gogoi had said. If the panel arrives at some conclusion, it was asked to put it before the bench.
To give healing a chance, SC referred case for mediation
To recall, the SC bench, also comprising of Justices SA Bobde, SA Nazeer, Ashok Bhushan, and DY Chandrachud had referred the fragile case for mediation earlier this year. The panel, headed by retired SC judge FMI Kalifulla, ended its proceedings in July after talks didn't yield results. It was after mediation failed that SC started daily hearings. The verdict is expected in November.