An Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S Abdul Nazeer, on Thursday, 8 February, set 14 March, 2018 as the next date of hearing in the Ayodhya dispute case.
The bench heard a batch of cross-petitions challenging the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict. The HC had divided the disputed Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi site between the Nirmohi Akhara, the Lord Ram deity (Ram Lalla) and the Sunni Waqf Board.
- Next hearing in the case on 14 March
- The cross-petitions challenging the 2010 Allahabad HC verdict are being heard by a three-judge bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra
- On 5 December 2017, Kapil Sibal, Rajeev Dhavan and Dushyant Dave urged that the matter be heard after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls
- The Sunni Waqf Board rejected Sibal’s plea
Next Hearing on 14 March: SC
The Supreme Court fixed 14 March 2018 as the next date of hearing in the Ayodhya dispute, citing incomplete filing of documents by the petitioners, news agency ANI reported. The court also granted this time to parties to file additional documents.
The apex court also asked parties to provide translated copies of excerpts of certain historical books, which have been relied upon by them.
Live Law reported that the court reiterated the parties to treat the matter as a ‘land case.’
Both the parties asked for day-to-day hearing of the case but the SC will make that decision on 14 March, ANI added.
CJI Dipak Misra said, “once the Supreme Court starts hearing the case, it will finish it in one go,” News18 reported.
Highlights of the 5 December Hearing
Senior lawyer and Congress leader Kapil Sibal, who had appeared for UP Sunni Central Waqf Board, had told the three judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that it should not "hear the matter which has repercussions on the polity of the country".
He had urged the court to hold the hearing in July 2019, apparently suggesting that the outcome of the hearing by the top court would have a bearing on 2019 general elections.
He had said that "it is being presumed which way the verdict will go..."
After the court rejected the submission for postponing the hearing till 2019, including hearing of the matter by a constitution bench, it, on 5 December asked senior counsel CS Vaidyanathan, appeared for deity, to commence his case.
At that point of time, Sibal, Dhavan and Dave sought the leave of the court to withdraw from the hearing.
Lawyers Walk out of Courtroom During Dec Hearing
On 7 December 2017, the court took a dim view of the conduct of certain senior lawyers describing it as "shameful".
Reminding the Bar of its traditions, he said: "It is not the tradition of the Bar. If the Bar does not regulate itself, we will."
(Read all about the 5 December hearing here.)