No Higher Bench For Ayodhya Verdict, Hearings Begin From Oct 29: Supreme Court

| September 27 , 2018 , 15:08 IST

The Supreme Court in a major announcement on Thursday said that the controversial Ayodhya land dispute case will not be referred to a larger bench, and that hearings on the issue will begin from October 29.

The announcement was made by a 3-judge bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and including Justices Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer, with Justice Nazeer disagreeing with the majority observation.

In the judgement authored by Justice Bhushan on his own and CJI Misra's behalf, it was held that the 1994 ruling in the Ismail Faruqui judgement, that mosques are not integral to the practice of Islam, would be heard separately and that the Ayodhya case would be heard purely as a land dispute case.

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"Observations in Ismail Faruqui on mosques as not essential to religion is in the context of acqusition of mosque and made with respect to the facts of that case," Justice Ashok Bhushan said. 

Justice Nazeer dissented, saying that the questionable observations in Ismail Faruqui judgement have permeated and influenced the Allahabad High Court verdict, and so both would need to be brought together. 

In 2010, Allahabad High Court ruled the verdict that the 2.5 acres disputed land of Ayodhya site should be divided equally between the Nirmohi Akhara, Lord Ram Deity and Sunni Waqf Board.

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BJP top leaders Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore, Hari Dalmiya, Sadhvi Ritambrara, and Mahant Avaidyanath were found with criminal charges by the Supreme court on April 19, 2017, in the demolition of Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992. 

The decade-long Ayodhya case has taken many turns till now, since December 6, 1992, when thousands of right-wing activists knocked down the Babri mosque in Ayodhya saying it was built on a Temple marking the birthplace of Lord Ram which was destroyed in the 16th century.

Around 2,000 people across the country were killed in the riots that followed the Babri Masjid demolition.