The Supreme Court will hold an in-chamber hearing on Thursday of a batch of review petitions filed against the 9 November Ayodhya verdict, which gave a green light to the construction of a Ram Temple at the Janmabhoomi-Babri disputed site. The apex court also ordered an allotment of five acres land to Sunni Waqf Board for the construction of a mosque elsewhere in Ayodhya.
The five-judge Supreme Court bench will be headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde and comprise Justices DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan, SA Nazeer and Sanjeev Khanna.
Justice Khanna is the only judge who was not a part of the five-judge Constitution bench that had delivered the historic verdict and is replacing former CJI Ranjan Gogoi.
During the in-chamber proceeding, the top court judges will examine the review plea and then take a call whether the parties need to be heard in an open court or if the petitions don't merit a hearing at all.
On 9 November, the former CJI Ranjan Gogoi headed bench, had in a unanimous verdict, decreed the entire 2.77 acre disputed land in favour of deity "Ram Lalla".
As per the list of business uploaded on the apex court's website, the bench would consider 18 review petitions in-chamber, out of which nine have been filed by parties who were part of the earlier litigation and the other nine have been filed by "third parties".
On 2 December, the first plea seeking review of Ayodhya verdict was filed by Maulana Syed Ashhad Rashidi, legal heir of original litigant M Siddiq and also the Uttar Pradesh president of the Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind.
On 6 December, six petitions were filed in the apex court seeking review of its ruling.
Two more review petitions were filed on 9 December, one by the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha and the other by 40 persons, including rights activists who have jointly moved the court seeking review of its verdict.
Maulana Syed Ashhad Rashidi has sought review of the verdict on 14 counts and said that "complete justice" could only be done by directing reconstruction of Babri Masjid.
He has also sought an interim stay on operation of the verdict in which it had directed the Centre that a trust be formed within three months for construction of the temple at the site.
Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, which has sought a limited review of the verdict, had moved the court against the direction to allot a five-acre plot to Sunni Waqf Board for building a mosque in Ayodhya. It has also sought deletion of findings declaring the disputed structure as a mosque.
The review plea filed by 40 persons, including historian Irfan Habib, economist and political commentator Prabhat Patnaik, activists Harsh Mander, Nandini Sundar and John Dayal, have said they are "deeply aggrieved" by the verdict as it "errs in both fact and law".
It has sought a full bench for hearing the review plea saying it is not merely a title dispute but a "contestation about the core of India's constitutional morality, and the principles of equal citizenship, secularism, justice, rule of law and fraternity".
With inputs from PTI