Ayodhya dispute: SC to hear appeals from December 5

Ayodhya dispute: Apex court begins hearing pleas against HC verdict

A Special Bench of Justices Dipak Misra, Ashok Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer said the contesting parties, including the deity Ram Lalla, U.P. Central Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara, the Uttar Pradesh government and the several legal heirs and representatives of the original parties, who have died over the years of litigation in various courts, can make their opening statements on December 5 and continue for two days in December before the court closes for Christmas vacation. "No adjournments shall be granted for the objective", the bench, also comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer, told the counsel.

Supreme Court on Friday fixed December 5 as the date to begin final hearing in Ayodhya matter, PTI reported.

Senior counsel CS Vaidyanathan, representing Lord Ram Lalla and Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the UP government, asked for an early hearing of the matter, but senior advocates Kapil Sibal, Anoop George Chaudhari and Rajeev Dhavan, representing other parties, were not in favour of commencement of the hearing before January next year.

"What's the hurry? Service (of notice) is not complete". The documents include scripts and records written in various languages ranging from Pali, Arabic, Persian, Gurumukhi to Urdu.

The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court in 2010 in its ruling did a three-way division of the disputed site in Ayodhya. The Shia board came into the picture in 1989 when it was impleaded as a party to the case by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

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Hindus believe that Lord Ram was born in Ayodhya thousands of years ago. Since the mosque was built on orders of the Mughal emperor Babur, it was named Babri Masjid.

The RSS, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and BJP have been running a campaign for construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya.

However, its intervention has been opposed by the All India Sunni Waqf Board which claimed that judicial adjudication between the two sects had already been done in 1946 by declaring the mosque, which was demolished on 6 December, 1992, as that belonging to the Sunnis. Many BJP leaders, including LK Advani and Murali Manohar Joshi, are facing a criminal case in connection with the demolition.

The Shia Waqf Board contended that the Sunni Waqf Board has no stake in the case since the mosque was Shia property.

Earlier, CJI Khehar had offered to play a mediator to solve the contentious issue if parties agreed to it, saying a negotiated settlement of the Ayodhya dispute was a better option.

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