Next Supreme Court Hearing On Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid Ayodhya Case On March 14

| February 8 , 2018 , 14:54 IST

The Supreme Court began the final hearings on Thursday on the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhumi - Babri Masjid case of Ayodhya. Citing incomplete filing of documents by the petitioners, the Supreme Court has announced March 14 as the next date of hearing in the Ayodhya dispute case. 

The Ayodhya dispute reached the Supreme Court after a batch of 14 petitions challenged the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict that had divided the 2.5 acres disputed Ayodhya site equally between the Nirmohi Akhara, Lord Ram Deity and Sunni Waqf Board.

A special bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer will start the hearings.

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The last hearing in the disputed case was conducted on December 5, 2017, in which senior lawyers, including Kapil Sibal and Rajeev Dhavan, had pleaded that the hearing should be postponed to July 2019, suggesting that it be held after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. They argued that the hearings must be deferred as building a Ram temple at the disputed site is a part of the BJP's manifesto.

Also, they demanded that the case be referred to a five-judge Constitution bench.

But the court rejected the suggestions and made it clear that it would begin final hearings on the petitions from February 8 and asked the parties to file the requisite pleadings in the meantime.

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On the remarks of senior lawyers on delaying the hearings, Justice Dipak Misra expressed "shock and surprise" at the suggestion, asserting that the judges were "not bothered about what's happening outside".

Misra disapproved of their conduct and said, "Raising voices will never be tolerated. Argue on legal principles. Raising voice shows incompetency not worthy of senior lawyers." 

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.