New Delhi, October 29: The Supreme Court on Monday turned down requests from the Uttar Pradesh government for early hearing in the Ayodhya case and said it will decide on the bench that will hear the case only in January next year.
Tushar Mehta, additional solicitor general, who appeared on behalf of the Uttar Pradesh government in the title suit, asked the court to take up the case after the Diwali break.
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said the appropriate bench will decide the date in January. “We don’t know which bench will hear the matter,” Chief Justice Gogoi said.
The petitions, which challenge the 2010 Allahabad high court judgment in the disputed Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi title suit, will be taken up in the first week of January.
The Allahabad High Court had ordered trifurcation of the disputed site between the Nirmohi Akhada, Ram Lalla (the deity which is a party in the case through a legal representative) and the Sunni Muslim Waqf Board in September 2010. The decision was immediately challenged in the top court.
Hindus believe the 16th-century mosque, Babri Masjid, was built over a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Ram, whose birthplace is also considered to be at the site. The mosque was demolished by a mob of thousands in 1992, triggering a cycle of violence and riots across India.
The top court on September 27 declined to refer to a five-judge constitution bench the issue of reconsideration of the observations in its 1994 judgment that a mosque was not integral to Islam which had arisen during the hearing of the Ayodhya land dispute.
In a majority verdict of 2:1, a three-judge bench headed by then chief justice Dipak Misra had said the civil suit has to be decided on the basis of evidence and the previous verdict has no relevance to this issue. (Agencies)