In a first, the constitution bench of Supreme Court will hear the Ayodhya land dispute case five days a week instead of three days. Usually, hearing by the constitution bench are held only three days (Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday) a week. However, considering the fact that the matter has already been long delayed, the top court will now hear the case from Monday to Friday.
Given the two extra hearings every week, it is likely that the verdict in the case may also be announced before the current Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi's retirement in November this year.
A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had started day-to-day hearing in the politically sensitive case of Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute from August 6. The top court had decided to conduct the daily hearing after a three-member mediation panel, headed by former top court judge FMI Kalifulla, failed to find out an amicable resolution to the dispute.
The bench, also comprising Justices S A Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer had on August 2 taken note of the report of the mediation proceedings which went on for about four months.
The mediation panel, also comprising spiritual guru and founder of the Art of Living foundation Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate and renowned mediator Sriram Panchu, had said in its report that the Hindu and the Muslim parties have not been able to find a solution to the vexatious dispute.
The apex court, which on March 8 referred the matter for mediation, had asked for in-camera proceedings to be completed within eight weeks, but later granted time till August 15 after the panel’s earlier report said that the mediators were “optimistic” about an amicable solution.
Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties—the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.