Ayodhya case: SC sets October 18 target to complete hearing


New Delhi: The five-judge Supreme Court bench hearing the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land title case on Wednesday set October 18 target to complete hearing in the case. “Let us make a joint effort to conclude the same by Oct 18”, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said.

Chief Justice Gogoi had yesterday asked the parties to share a tentative schedule for concluding their arguments.

The bench had yesterday asked all the lawyers to sit together to come up with a tentative schedule to complete their arguments so that the judges could figure how much time they have to write the judgment.

Justice Gogoi retires as the CJI on November 17.

The parties submitted this schedule to the bench as the top court resumed the hearing on Wednesday. The bench, after perusing the timelines indicated by the lawyers, set the October 18 date.

“If need be, we can extend our sitting by an hour,” Chief Justice Gogoi said.

The five-judge bench started holding daily hearings from August to fast-track the case that has been pending for decades after a Supreme Court appointed mediation committee failed to develop a consensus among the parties to arrive at an amicable resolution.

This week, the mediation committee returned to the Supreme Court with a request from 2 of the 16 parties who wanted to continue efforts for a negotiated settlement.

Chief Justice Gogoi told the panel on Wednesday that if all the parties are open to mediation, they could go ahead but would have to maintain confidentiality. But the hearing in the Supreme Court will continue.

More than a dozen appeals were filed against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.


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