The Supreme Court has adjourned the politically-sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case to March 14 since documentation and translations are yet to be complete. The bench, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, however, made it clear that it would deal with the case as a “pure land dispute”.
Earlier , the Supreme Court was hearing a crucial hearing on a batch of petitions in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case.
The hearing assumed significance in the wake of the rejection by a special bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, the vehement submission by Sunni Waqf Board and others that the pleas be heard after the next general elections.
The bench, also comprising justices Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, had made clear on December 5 last year, that it would begin final hearing on the petitions from February 8 and had asked the parties to file the requisite pleadings in the meantime.
Senior lawyers, including Kapil Sibal and Rajeev Dhavan, had contended that the civil appeals be either referred to a five- or seven-judge bench or posted in 2019 keeping in mind the sensitive nature of the case and its ramifications on the country’s secular fabric and polity.
The top court had asked the advocates on records (AoRs), dealing with as many 14 civil appeals against the 2010 judgement of the Allahabad High Court in the land dispute, to ensure that all requisite documents are translated, filed and numbered before the apex court Registry.
The special bench of the apex court is seized of a total 14 appeals filed against the High Court judgement delivered in four civil suits.
A three-judge bench of the Allahabad High Court, in a 2:1 majority ruling, had in 2010 ordered that the land be partitioned equally among three parties – the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
Both Hindus and Muslims have claimed over the 2.7 acre disputed Ayodhya site.