New Delhi, September 20: The Supreme Court on Friday decided to extend the daily hearing of the Ayodhya title dispute case by an hour from Monday next week. The court had earlier set October 18 as the deadline to conclude the hearing on the matter. A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi has been holding the daily hearing on the matter after the court appointed mediation panel headed by a former apex court judge failed to arrive at an amicable resolution.
On the 28th day of the hearing, the bench told the counsel of the Hindu and Muslim parties that a decision has been made by the judges that they could squeeze in an extra hour for the hearing. The bench usually rises at 4 p.m. everyday, which is the general time to conclude the hearing of various matters. But, for the Ayodhya case the judges will sit till 5 p.m., giving one hour extra to the court proceedings. Supreme Court to Hold Day-to-Day Hearings in Ayodhya Case.
"We can sit for extra one hour from Monday (September 23)," said the bench, which besides the CJI, has Justices S. A. Bobde, D. Y. Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S. A. Nazeer as the other members.
The Chief Justice is scheduled to retire on November 17. Therefore, the court has set a deadline to conclude all the hearings in the matter on or before October 18, which means all the parties involved in the matter have to finish their arguments within the deadline. The court has also asked all the stakeholders involved in the case to respect the deadline and attempt to meet it.
Judgement is likely in the protracted land title dispute in the middle of November. The Allahabad High Court in 2010 in its judgement equally partitioned the 2.77 acre disputed area among the three parties -- Ram Lalla, Nirmohi Akhara and Sunni Waqf Board.