Ayodhya Dispute: SC Schedules Next Hearing on 14 March

An Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S Abdul Nazeer, on Thursday, 8 February, set 14 March, 2018 as the next date of hearing in the Ayodhya dispute case.

The bench heard a batch of cross-petitions challenging the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict. The HC had divided the disputed Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi site between the Nirmohi Akhara, the Lord Ram deity (Ram Lalla) and the Sunni Waqf Board.

  • Next hearing in the case on 14 March
  • The cross-petitions challenging the 2010 Allahabad HC verdict is being heard by a three-judge bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra
  • On 5 December 2017, Kapil Sibal, Rajeev Dhavan and Dushyant Dave urged that the matter be heard after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls
  • The Sunni Waqf Board rejected Sibal’s plea

Next Hearing on 14 March: SC

The Supreme Court fixed 14 March 2018 as the next date of hearing in the Ayodhya dispute, citing incomplete filing of documents by the petitioners, news agency ANI reported. The court also granted this time to parties to file additional documents.

Bar & Bench reported that Sunni Waqf Board sought day-to-day hearing in the matter, but the SC denied it.

CJI Dipak Misra said, “Once the Supreme Court starts hearing the case, it will finish it in one go,” News18 reported. According to Live Law, he also said it is “only a simple case of land dispute between parties”.

Highlights of the 5 December Hearing

Senior lawyer and Congress leader Kapil Sibal, who had appeared for UP Sunni Central Waqf Board, had told the three judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that it should not "hear the matter which has repercussions on the polity of the country".

He had urged the court to hold the hearing in July 2019, apparently suggesting that the outcome of the hearing by the top court would have a bearing on 2019 general elections.

However, senior counsel Harish Salve, who appeared for the other side, said that as far as the court was concerned it was “just a case” and the repercussion of the outcome of the case was none of its outlook.

He had said that "it is being presumed which way the verdict will go..."

After the court rejected the submission for postponing the hearing till 2019, including hearing of the matter by a constitution bench, it, on 5 December asked senior counsel CS Vaidyanathan, appeared for deity, to commence his case.

At that point of time, Sibal, Dhavan and Dave sought the leave of the court to withdraw from the hearing.

Lawyers Walk out of Courtroom During Dec Hearing

On 7 December 2017, the court took a dim view of the conduct of certain senior lawyers describing it as "shameful".

“Unfortunately, a small group of lawyers think they can raise their voice. We make it clear that raising of voice will not be tolerated. Raising of voice only shows your (lawyers) inadequacy and incompetence,” he had said.

Reminding the Bar of its traditions, he said: "It is not the tradition of the Bar. If the Bar does not regulate itself, we will."

(Read all about the 5 December hearing here.)

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