The Supreme Court is likely to resume hearing on a batch of cross petitions against the Allahabad High Court verdict in the Ayodhya Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case on Thursday. Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and two other judges – Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S Abdul Nazeer will hear a total of 13 petitions over the disputed site in Ayodhya at around 2 pm on Thursday.
The last hearing in the case was conducted on December 5, 2017 wherein senior lawyers, including Kapil Sibal, had pleaded that the hearing should be postponed. Appearing for UP Sunni Central Waqf Board, Sibal had said that the hearing should be deferred to July 2019, suggesting that it be held after the outcome of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The lawyers had also demanded that the case be referred to a five-judge Constitution Bench.
The court, however, rejected the plea by Sibal and scheduled the hearing for February 8.
The top court was moved challenging the High Court verdict by petitioners M. Siddiqui represented by his legal heirs, Nirmohi Akhara, UP Sunni Central Waqf ABoard Bhagwan Shri Ram Virajman, All India Hindu Mahasabha's Swami Chakrapani, the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, the Akhil Bharatiya Sri Ramjanam Bhoomi Punardhar Samiti and others.
Allahabad High Court had on September 30, 2010 proposed that the 2.77 acre of land should be divided in three parts. According to the verdict given by 2-1 majority by a bench comprising Justice D V Sharma, Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Justice S U Khan:
- one third of the land was to be given to Ram Lalla – infant Lord Ram represented by Hindu Maha Sabha
- one third of the land was entrusted to Nirmohi Akhada
- one third was to be given to Islamic Sunni Waqf Board.
On January 1, 1993, the Allahabad High Court had had ruled that till the issue is resolved, devotees must be allowed for darshan of Ram Lalla. The verdict was given by Justice Harinath Tilahri.