Supreme Court: Ayodhya hearing on January 10
Supreme Court hearing on January 10th on the Constitution of a bench to hear the Ayodhya matter.
Ayodhya title dispute, the CJI-led Supreme Court bench on Friday ordered that the bench that will hear a batch of up to 14 petitions on the 2010 Allahabad High Court’s verdict in the case will be constituted on January 10, and that that bench will pass further orders relating to the case in a hearing on that date.
The proceedings in the Supreme Court on Friday were carried out expeditiously, with the apex court’s order regarding subsequent movement in the case being delivered within seconds of the bench assembling. Accordingly, it’ll be the bench that is to be constituted that will decide on matters such as whether the hearing will be fast-tracked, as had been the demand of multiple petitioners.
Further orders will be passed by an appropriate bench on January 10 for fixing the date of hearing the matter,” a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul said in the hearing that lasted barely 30 seconds. Senior advocates Harish Salve and Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for different parties, did not even get the opportunity to make any submission.
- The CJI said a new bench of judges would hear the matter on January 10 — which would be decided in the interim
- The Supreme Court, on October 29, had fixed the matter in the first week of January before an “appropriate bench”
- Modi had suggested, in his New Year interview, that any decision on an ordinance on the Ram temple matter can happen only after the completion of the legal process.
The Supreme Court was taking up the Ayodhya matter again on Friday for the first time in two months, after earlier having deprioritised it.
When the matter was previously listed before the apex court, on October 29, it said that it would form a bench in the first week of January to decide when the hearing will start.
Ever since then, pro-Mandir groups, led by the RSS, VHP and Shiv Sena, had upped the ante, and on a number of occasions demanded the government bring in an ordinance in Parliament or find another legislative solution to keep its 2014 election manifesto promise.
Despite pressure to construct the Mandir from groups widely considered to be aligned with it and amid accusations from opponents that it is using the Ram Mandir issue for political gains, the BJP government reiterated that it wishes to construct the Ram Mandir at the Ram Janmabhoomi site in Ayodhya. However, the government stopped short of considering the possibility of bringing in an ordinance, suggesting that everyone should wait for the court’s orders, a view endorsed by none other than PM Narendra Modi and BJP party president Amit Shah.
Speaking in his first interview of 2019, PM Modi reiterated the Ram Mandir commitment from his 2014 election manifesto but stated that his government would follow the Supreme Court’s lead in the matter and put all effort there on.
“We have said in our BJP manifesto that a solution would be found to this issue under the ambit of the Constitution. Let the judicial process be over. After the judicial process is over, whatever will be our responsibility as the government, we are ready to make all efforts,” he told ANI’s editor Smita Prakash.
BJP President Amit Shah, speaking at the Republic Summit 2018, had mentioned the same while positively hoping that the Court will give out its judgment on the matter within 10 days if day to day hearing takes place.
“Supreme Court should rule on it quickly. It is important to a lot of people. I believe that in January the hearings will begin. If heard day-to-day it can be done in 10 days. Crores of people believe that the Mandir should be built there,” he said.
The RSS, after the adjournment of the matter in October, had demanded the government immediately bring in an ordinance in Parliament. But following PM Modi’s remarks on January 1, the RSS tweeted expressing its contentment, though, it has given the government somewhat of a deadline to begin construction on the Ram Mandir, stating that it must be done within the current government’s term.
As for the VHP, its stand has been very clear on this case ever since the order of SC in October. VHP leaders have been demanding an ordinance at the earliest, and despite PM Modi’s assurance, this stance hasn’t changed.
The court will decide on the constitution of a bench to hear a batch of 14 separate petitions.
In an interview with news agency ANI earlier this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said the government would wait until the judicial process over the dispute is complete before deciding on the matter.
The Supreme Court on Friday adjourned the hearing in the Ayodhya land dispute case to January 10 when it will decide on the constitution of a bench to hear a batch of petitions, ANI reported. A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice SK Kaul heard the matter.
The court is likely to set up a three-judge bench to hear 14 separate petitions filed against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict ordering a three-way division of the land.
In September, the top court had refused to refer to a larger bench its judgement from 1994, which held that namaaz can be offered anywhere and said that a mosque is not a “essential part of the practice of the religion of Islam”. The court told that this judgement would have no impact on the Ayodhya land dispute case, which will be decided on the basis of its own facts.
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.
On Wednesday, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad reiterated that the Centre should immediately introduce a legislation or ordinance on the matter.