Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case in Ayodhya: A chronology

SC refers the dispute for mediation by a panel headed by former apex court judge F M I Kallifulla.

Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case in Ayodhya: A chronology

New Delhi: The following is the chronology of events in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case in Ayodhya in which the Supreme Court on Friday referred the politically sensitive case for mediation to a panel headed by former apex court judge F M I Kallifulla and gave it eight weeks to complete the process.

* 1528: Babri Masjid built by Mir Baqi, commander of Mughal emperor Babur.

* 1885: Mahant Raghubir Das files plea in Faizabad district court seeking permission to build a canopy outside the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid structure. Court rejects plea.

* 1949: Idols of Ram Lalla placed under a central dome outside the disputed structure.

* 1950: Gopal Simla Visharad files suit in Faizabad district court for rights to worship the idols of Ram Lalla.

* 1950: Paramahansa Ramachandra Das files suit for the continuation of worship and keeping the idols.

* 1959: Nirmohi Akhara files suit seeking possession of the site.

* 1981: UP Sunni Central Waqf Board files suit for possession of the site.

* February 1, 1986: Local court orders the government to open the site for Hindu worshippers.

* August 14, 1989: Allahabad HC ordered maintenance of status quo in respect of the disputed structure.

* December 6, 1992: Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid structure demolished.

* April 3, 1993: 'Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act' passed for acquisition of land by Centre in the disputed area. Various writ petitions, including one by Ismail Faruqui, filed in Allahabad HC challenging various aspects of the Act. Supreme Court exercising its jurisdiction under Article 
139A transferred the writ petitions, which were pending in the High Court.

* October 24, 1994: SC says in the historic Ismail Faruqui case that mosque was not integral to Islam.

* April 2002: HC begins hearing on determining who owns the disputed site.

* March 13, 2003: SC says, in the Aslam alias Bhure case, no religious activity of any nature be allowed at the acquired land.

* March 14: SC says interim order passed should be operative till disposal of the civil suits in Allahabad HC to maintain communal harmony.

* September 30, 2010: HC, in a 2:1 majority, rules three-way division of disputed area between Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

* May 9, 2011: SC stays HC verdict on Ayodhya land dispute.

* February 26, 2016: Subramanian Swamy files plea in SC seeking construction of Ram Temple at the disputed site.

* March 21, 2017: CJI JS Khehar suggests out-of-court settlement among rival parties.

* August 7: SC constitutes three-judge bench to hear pleas challenging the 1994 verdict of the Allahabad HC.

* August 8: UP Shia Central Waqf Board tells SC mosque could be built in a Muslim-dominated area at a reasonable distance from the disputed site.

* September 11: SC directs Chief Justice of the Allahabad HC to nominate two additional district judges within ten days as observers to deal with the upkeep of the disputed site.

* November 20: UP Shia Central Waqf Board tells SC temple can be built in Ayodhya and mosque in Lucknow.

* December 1: Thirty-two civil rights activists file plea challenging the 2010 verdict of the Allahabad HC.

* February 8, 2018: SC starts hearing the civil appeals.

* March 14: SC rejects all interim pleas, including Swamy's, seeking to intervene as parties in the case.

* April 6: Rajeev Dhavan files plea in SC to refer the issue of reconsideration of the observations in its 1994 judgement to a larger bench.

* July 6: UP government tells SC some Muslim groups were trying to delay the hearing by seeking reconsideration of an observation in the 1994 verdict.

* July 20: SC reserves verdict.

* September 27: SC declines to refer the case to a five-judge Constitution bench. Case to be heard by a newly constituted three-judge bench on October 29. 

* October 29: SC fixes the case for the first week of January before an appropriate bench, which will decide the schedule of hearing.

* November 12: SC declines early hearing of petitions in the case requested by Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha.

* November 22: SC dismisses PIL seeking direction to organisations and public at large to "behave" and not air their views that can spoil the atmosphere till it decides the title dispute case.

* December 24: SC decides to take up petitions on case for hearing on January 4.

* January 4, 2019: SC says an appropriate bench constituted by it will pass an order on January 10 for fixing the date of hearing in the title case.

*January 8, 2019: SC sets up a five-judge Constitution Bench to hear the case headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices S A Bobde, NV Ramana, UU Lalit and DY Chandrachud.

* January 10, 2019: Justice U U Lalit recuses himself prompting SC to reschedule the hearing for January 29 before a new bench.

* January 25, 2019: SC reconstitutes 5-member Constitution Bench to hear the case. The new bench comprises Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer.

* January 27, 2019: SC cancels the January 29 hearing due to non-availability of Justice S A Bobde.

* January 29, 2019: Centre moves SC seeking permission to return the 67-acre acquired land around the disputed site to original owners.

* February 20, 2019: SC decides to hear the case on Feb 26. 

* February 26, 2019: SC favours mediation, fixes Mar 5 for order on whether to refer matter to court-appointed mediator.

* March 6, 2019: SC reserves order on whether the land dispute can be settled through mediation.

* March 8, 2019: SC refers the dispute for mediation by a panel headed by former apex court judge F M I Kallifulla.