A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, will on January 10 hear a batch of petitions related to the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case, ANI reported. Justices SA Bobde, NV Ramana, UU Lalit and DY Chandrachud will be the other four judges.
Earlier, a bench comprising Gogoi and Justice SK Kaul were hearing the pleas. On January 4, the court adjourned the hearing to January 10, and said an “appropriate bench” will pass further orders on the matter.
The Supreme Court had in October rejected the Uttar Pradesh government’s appeal for an early hearing in the case. As many as 14 separate petitions have been filed against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict ordering a three-way division of the land on which the Babri Masjid stood before Hindutva activists demolished it on December 6, 1992.
The land was divided equally between the Nirmohi Akhara, the Sunni Wakf Board and the representative for the deity Ram Lalla in the 2010 judgement.
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, including Amit Shah and Ravi Shankar Prasad, have urged the Supreme Court to fast-track the hearing. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and some Hindu religious leaders want the government to pass an ordinance for the construction of the temple. The Shiv Sena, the BJP’s ally in Maharashtra, has sought a bill for the construction of the temple.
However, in an interview last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said the government will wait until the judicial process over the dispute is complete before deciding on the matter.