New Delhi, January 10: The politically sensitive case of Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land title dispute in Ayodhya will be heard by a five-judge Constitution Bench of Supreme Court today. In today's hearing, the apex court is likely to take a call on the frequency of hearings in the case. The Constitution Bench will be headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and also comprise of Justices S A Bobde, NV Ramana, UU Lalit and D Y Chandrachud.
On September 27 last year, a three-judge bench, headed by the then Chief Justice Dipak Misra, had refused to refer to a five-judge constitution bench for reconsideration of the observations in its 1994 judgement that a mosque was not integral to Islam. In October, the apex court had listed the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land title dispute in January 2019 for fixing the date of hearing. Ayodhya Act 1993: When Congress Passed Law For Construction of Ram Mandir And BJP Opposed it.
The court's decision agitated right-wing groups, including the parental body of ruling BJP - the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh - which has demanded a law or ordinance to build a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya. On January 4, when the matter was first taken up, the Supreme Court said that further orders in the matter would be passed on January 10 by “the appropriate bench, as may be constituted”. Then a five-judge Constitution Bench was set up that will hear the case today. Ram Mandir Via Ordinance or Law: Will Modi Government Adopt Somnath Route For Ayodhya?
The newly set up bench assumes significance as it comprises not only the incumbent Chief Justice of India but the four judges who are in line to be CJI in the future. Justice Gogoi’s successor would be Justice Bobde followed by Justices Ramana, Lalit and Chandrachud.
The Constitution Bench will hear a batch of petitions against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgement, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land be partitioned equally among the three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. Several pleas for an urgent hearing had been rejected by the top court.