A newly-constituted five-judge bench of the Supreme Court will hear the title suit of the Ayodhya case today.
The hearing was earlier delayed as Justice SA Bobde, who is a part of the five-judge Constitution bench, was on leave.
The apex court, on January 25, constituted a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice Abdul Nazeer, Justice SA Bobde and Justice DY Chandrachud to hear the Ayodhya case. The top court was scheduled to hear the case on January 29.
However, hearing was cancelled due to the unavailability of Justice Bobde. Amidst the rising rallies and debates in support of Ram Mandir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month made it clear that any decision on an executive order on the temple issue cannot be made until the judicial process is 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,” the Prime Minister told ANI.
In 2010, the Allahabad High Court had divided the disputed land in Ayodhya into three parts for each of the parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. The case has been pending before the top court for the last eight years. Parties in the case and various right-wing organisations have been asking for an early or day-to-day hearing for a long time.
Last year, the top court had refused to grant an urgent hearing saying it had “other priorities” and posted the matter for hearing in the first week of January 2019 before the “appropriate bench”.
Along with Ayodhya case, the apex court will also hear a petition by Ram devotees that challenge the acquisition of 2.77 acres and 67.07 acres of land at Ayodhya by the centre in 1993. The petition was filed by seven residents of Lucknow, including two advocates, Shishir Chaturvedi, and Sanjay Mishra, who said they were devotees of Lord Ram.
“The UP Legislature has the exclusive power to make provisions relating to the management of the affairs of religious institutions working in the state, the petition said.”The 1993 Act infringes upon the right to religion of Hindus guaranteed and protected under Article 25 (freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion) of the Constitution,” it added. (ANI)