Ayodhya title dispute hearings from December 5

Hearing on Ayodhya Matter begins in Supreme Court

The court asked UP government to translate the evidence recorded for adjudicating the title suit into English language within 10 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.

A Special Bench of Justices Dipak Misra, Ashok Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer said the contesting parties, including the deity Ram Lalla, U.P. Central Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara, the Uttar Pradesh government and the several legal heirs and representatives of the original parties, who have died over the years of litigation in various courts, can make their opening statements on December 5 and continue for two days in December before the court closes for Christmas vacation.

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). Mr. Sibal and Mr. Dhawan said the documents needed to be translated first and the translations had to be finalised before the hearings start. The board further sought at least four months time to translate the historical documents.

On August 8, in a major development in the decades-old case, the Shia Waqf Board told the Supreme Court that a mosque can be built in a Muslim-dominated area at a reasonable distance from the disputed site. "Babur might have ordered Baqi to build mosque but it was Baqi who chose the site and having demolished the temple got the mosque built", the plea said.

The State government, represented by Additional Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta, displayed visible eagerness to start the hearing in the Supreme Court. The apex court reached on the consensus after intense deliberation for more than one-and-half-hours.

But the civil dispute over 2.7 acres is a separate one that has been on since 1961 when the Sunni Wakf Board took the matter to court.

This prompted the bench to ask the parties, "What were they doing in the past seven years when the appeal against the 2010 Allahabad High Court was not listed here?"

"Since Babri Masjid was a Shia Waqf, only Shia Central Waqf Board, Uttar Pradesh, is entitled to negotiate and arrive at a peaceful settlement with other remaining stakeholders", the affidavit stated.

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