After a gap of 7 years, SC begins hearing Ram Temple case

The Babri Masjid at Ayodhya was demolished by Hindu radicals

The Babri Masjid at Ayodhya was demolished by Hindu radicals

The court directed the Uttar Pradesh government to translate the case documents running into more than 9,000 pages (523 documentary exhibits) within 12 weeks.

Nearly seven years after the Allahabad High Court's September 30, 2010 order dividing the 2.7-acre disputed land at the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site equally between Ram Lalla, Nirmohi Akhara and Sunni Waqf Board, the Supreme Court is scheduled to take up cross-appeals on August 11.

The bench made it clear that the parties would have to strictly adhere to the time frame fixed by it and no adjournment shall be given in any circumstances.

The three-judge bench, by a majority of 2:1, had said the land be partitioned equally among the Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and the Ram Lalla (nascent Lord Ram). The court also said that it will facilitate the translation. An earlier apex court order had ordered that the papers be translated and digitised because it proceeds with its final hearing in the matter.

It may be recalled that the Shia Waqf Board had earlier told the Supreme Court in an affidavit that the mosque can be built at a different location.

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.

This suggestion was strongly objected to by the Sunni Waqf Board represented by senior advocate Anoop Chaudhari and senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Rajeev Dhawan, appearing for some of the opposing parties.

The apex court in its previous judgment had constituted a three-judge bench to hear a batch of petitions challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict in the Ayodhya land dispute case from 11 August.

The court's remark had come on a plea of BJP leader Swamy who sought urgent hearing of the matter.

Notably, the Allahabad High Court in the year 2010 ruling said that the disputed land be divided into three parts - one-third to Ram Lalla, represented by the Hindu Mahasabha; one-third to the Islamic Waqf Board; and the remaining third to the Nirmohi Akhara. The affidavit, filed by Syed Waseem Rizvi, chairman of Uttar Pradesh Shia Central Waqf Board, disputed the claim of Sunni Waqf Board, saying the Babri Masjid site was its property and only it was entitled to hold negotiations for an amicable settlement of the dispute.

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