Will treat Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid case as "pure land-dispute": SC
The Supreme Court stated it would take up the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case next on 14 March to determine the ownership of the disputed 2.77-acre land.
It asked parties before Allahabad HC in the Ayodhya case to file the English translation of their documents within two weeks.
CJI Dipak Misra-led special bench said it would treat the case as "pure land dispute".
Supreme Court to hear Ayodhya-dispute case in March
History attached to disputed land to have no significance
The special three-judge bench headed by CJI Misra said appeals in the Ayodhya case will be heard on 14 March, clarifying it never committed to hear it on a "day-to-day basis".
The bench, also comprising Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer, said it would deal with the matter as a land dispute, suggesting history attached to the site bears "no significance" in this regard.
Parties asked to file translated files within two weeks
The apex court has asked the concerned parties in the Ayodhya dispute case to translate the files -excerpts of the vernacular books- relied upon in the matter and file the documents within two weeks from 8 February.
The court's Registry was directed to provide copies of video cassettes, part of the Allahabad HC records, to the parties on actual cost.
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14 civil appeals filed against Allahabad HC's 2010 verdict
The CJI Misra-led bench was hearing civil appeals filed after the 2010 verdict by a three-judge bench of the Allahabad HC.
The HC bench, in a 2:1 majority, ruled that the disputed Ayodhya site be partitioned equally among three parties: the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara, and the deity Ram Lalla.
There are as many as 14 civil appeals against the 2010 ruling.
SC rejected Sunni Waqf Board's plea to postpone hearing
The latest hearing follows the rejection of the plea from Sunni Waqf Board and other members of the minority community on 5 Dec'17 that the Ayodhya case is heard after the 2019 General Elections.
The SC thwarted Sunni Waqf Board's attempt to postpone the hearing in the case until Jul'19.
It was made clear that the final hearing will begin from 8 Feb'18.
Sensitive nature of the Ayodhya case
Last year, senior advocates like Kapil Sibal and Rajeev Dhavan contended that the civil appeals in the Ayodhya dispute case should be either referred to another five or seven-judge bench or postponed to 2019, considering the "sensitive nature" of the case.
Ram Janmabhoomi or Babri Masjid?
The Hindu parties involved in the Ayodhya case claim the disputed land is Lord Ram birthplace. The Babri Masjid was built at the site in the 16th century.
Kar Sevaks destroyed the centuries-old mosque on 6 December 1992 during a political rally which snowballed into a riot.
Subsequently, a land title case was lodged in the Allahabad HC, which pronounced its verdict in 2010.
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