National

Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi Case: SC Defers Hearing To January 29 After Judge U U Lalit Exit Case

PRERNA YADAV | 2
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| January 10 , 2019 , 12:18 IST

The Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi case hearing was adjourned until January 29 today after Judge U U Lalit withdrew from the case after advocate Rajeev Dhavan pointed out that he had appeared for Kalyan Singh in a criminal case related to the dispute.

"I am bringing it to Your Lordships notice though we don't have an objection to him hearing the matter. It is entirely up to Your Lordships," Dhawan told the Supreme Court.

CJI Ranjan Gogoi said that the bench would be reconstituted in order to fill Justice UU Lalit's now vacant seat.

CJI Gogoi also asked the apex court’s registry to submit a report by January 29 on the amount of time that would be needed to hear the matter.

CJI further directed the SC registry to physically examine the records to determine their correctness and check whether the translations were right or not.

The SC was expected to take a call on the frequency of hearings in the case today.  The four other judges on the Constitution Bench are Justice SA Bobde, Justice NV Ramana, Justice UU Lalit and Justice DY Chandrachud.

Alok Kumar, president of Vishwa Hindu Parishad said, " The CJI is the master of rules and he is to decide the fate of the case. The attempt on UU Lalit is a frustrated attempt. The objections raised are frivolous." 

In an interview to news agency ANI at the start of the year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made it clear that any decision on passing an executive order on the Ram temple issue cannot be made unless the judicial process is over.

"Let the judicial process be over. After the judicial process is over, whatever will be our responsibility as the government, we are ready to make all efforts... We have said in our BJP manifesto that a solution would be found to this issue under the ambit of the Constitution," PM Modi had said.

The dispute in Ayodhya is over 2.7 acres of land on which the Babri Masjid stood before it was demolished on December 6, 1992. In 2010, the Allahabad High Court allotted two-thirds of the land to the Hindus and one third to the Sunni Waqf Board. Both Hindu and Muslim organizations appealed against it in the Supreme Court, which is 2011, stayed the High Court order.

On October 29 last year, the court had fixed the matter for hearing in the first week of January. An application for an urgent hearing by advancing the date, filed by the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, was turned down by the top court.