SC concludes Ayodhya daily hearings in 40 days, reserves verdict
The five-judge bench of the Supreme Court concluded hearing in the case that lasted for 40 days. The apex court is expected to deliver its judgment on the Ayodhya case before November 17, 2019, the date on which the current CJI demits office.
A five-judge Constitution bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi heard appeals and cross appeals filed by the Sunni Central Wakf Board and the Hindu side against a 2010 Allahabad High Court ruling that had partitioned the land among the three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
The High Court had carved up the disputed 2.77 acres between the Hindus and the Muslims in the ratio of 2:1 in a manner so that the area, on which the dome of the now demolished mosque once stood, went to the Hindus.
"Hearing concluded. Judgement reserved. Parties to give written submissions on moulding of relief in three days," the CJI said at the end of the day.The other members of the bench are justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer.
Any ruling will come before CJI demits office on November 17, 2019.
The Constitution bench, which started the day-to-day proceedings on August 6 -- after mediation proceedings failed to find an amicable solution -- sat beyond court hours to meet CJI Gogoi's directive to wrap up arguments by October 18 so that a verdict can be pronounced before he demits office.
Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties.
The case started initially when as many as five lawsuits were filed in the lower court. The first one was filed by Gopal Singh Visharad, a devotee of ''Ram Lalla'', in 1950 to seek enforcement of the right to worship of Hindus at the disputed site.
In the same year, the Paramahansa Ramachandra Das had also filed the lawsuit for continuation of worship and keeping the idols under the central dome of the now-demolished disputed structure. The plea was later withdrawn.
Later, the Nirmohi Akahara also moved the trial court in 1959 seeking management and "shebaiti"(traditional servitor) rights over the 2.77 acre disputed land. Then came the lawsuit of the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Wakf Board which moved the court in 1961, claiming title right over the disputed property.
The deity, ''Ram Lalla Virajman'' through next friend and former Allahabad High Court judge Deoki Nandan Agrawal, and the Janambhoomi (the birthplace) moved the lawsuit in 1989, seeking title right over the entire disputed property on the key ground that the land itself has the character of the deity and of a ''juristic entity''.
Later, all the lawsuits were transferred to the Allahabad High Court for adjudication following the demolition of the disputed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri masjid structure on December 6, 1992. The high court verdict of 2010 was later challenged in the Supreme Court.