Representative Image
Representative Image

New five-judge bench to start hearing Ayodhya case from January 29

ANI | Updated: Jan 25, 2019 21:33 IST

New Delhi [India] Jan 25 (ANI): The new five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, set up on Friday, will start hearing the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case from January 29.
The bench includes two new names, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Abdul Nazeer, who have been brought in to replace Justice UU Lalit and Justice NV Ramana. The bench also includes Justice SA Bobde and Justice DY Chandrachud.
Justice Bhushan and Nazeer were part of the three-judge bench, headed by former CJI Deepak Misra, which refused to refer the matter to a five-judge Constitutional Bench by a 2:1 verdict in September last year.
The three-judge bench had ruled that the apex court would hear the issue purely as a "land dispute", dismissing a plea to reconsider the court's 1994 judgement that a mosque was an integral part of Islam.
On January 10, the Supreme Court had fixed January 29 as the next date for hearing after Justice UU Lalit recused himself from hearing the case, after advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for one of the Muslim parties, pointed out that Justice Lalit had appeared for Kalyan Singh in a related case.
However, Dhavan clarified he was not requesting that Justice Lalit should recuse himself from hearing the case but was only bringing it to the notice of the apex court.
Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for one of the Hindu parties, said that there was no problem if Justice Lalit continued to hear the matter but the latter recused from hearing the case.
The case has been pending before the top court for last eight years. Parties in the case and various right-wing organisations have been asking for an early or day-to-day hearing for a long time. Last year, the top court had refused to grant an urgent hearing, saying the court had "other priorities" and posted the matter for hearing in the first week of January this year before the "appropriate bench". (ANI)