On Friday, the Supreme Court fixed January 10 as the date for hearing the Ayodhya dispute.
The matter was heard by a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice SK Kaul. The hearing continued for just 60 seconds.
The sensitive case, which has taken center stage in politics for more than two decades, pertains to 2.77 acres of land.
A brief history of the historic case
Hindu groups believe the Babri Masjid was erected after demolishing a temple where Lord Ram took human form.
In December 1992, the Babri Masjid was attacked sparking nationwide riots.
In 2010, the Allahabad High Court divided the land equally among three parties: Ram Lalla, Sunni Waqf Board, and Nirmohi Akhada.
Upset with the verdict, all the three parties approached the apex court.
The court has received many petitions
Since 2010, the Supreme Court has received more than a dozen petitions in the case. Last year, the Supreme Court had noted it will see the case only as property dispute one. Notably, during the hearing, other issues also came up for adjudication.
Court noted mosque is not essential for praying in Islam
Among them was the important judgment where the top court declared that mosque was not essential for praying in Islam.
In 1994, a lower court had given a similar judgment in the Union of India v/s Ismail Faruqi case, and the apex court, in September 2018, refused to refer it to a five-judge constitutional bench.
Muslim bodies feared this verdict could weaken their case.
Many groups want an ordinance for temple construction
Notably, in November 2018, the SC had refused early hearing of petitions in this title dispute, irking right-wing groups like RSS and VHP. The BJP had also expressed unhappiness on this.
The ruling party has been facing pressure from various quarters with the demand to bring an ordinance for the temple construction gaining momentum.
But Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ruled out this possibility.
Here's what PM Modi, Amit Shah said on the matter
In a recent interview, PM Modi said the route of the ordinance could be taken only after the judicial process is complete. Earlier, BJP President Amit Shah said the title dispute wouldn't take longer than 10 days if the court heard the case daily.