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Hearing on Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid Dispute to Begin in SC Today

The Supreme Court hearing comes seven years after the Allahabad High Court had divided the disputed Ayodhya land equally between Ram Lalla Virajman, Sunni Waqf Board and Nirmohi Akhara. Petitioners, including BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, had challenged the order.

Debayan Roy | News18.com

Updated:August 11, 2017, 1:35 PM IST
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Hearing on Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid Dispute to Begin in SC Today
The Allahabad High Court had in 2010 directed that the Ayodhya site, where the Babri Masjid once stood, be split between Nirmohi Akhara, the Waqf Board and Ram Lalla, who were all claimants. (Photo for representation)
New Delhi: The Supreme Court will begin hearing cross-appeals in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case on Friday, seven years after the Allahabad High Court divided the disputed land in Ayodhya equally between Ram Lalla Virajman, Sunni Waqf Board and Nirmohi Akhara.

The High Court order had been challenged by petitioners, including BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, on the grounds that no prayer had been made to divide the land equally.

The top court eventually stayed the HC order and outgoing Chief Justice of India JS Khehar on July 21 agreed to take an early decision in the case.

Friday’s bench will be headed by CJI-designate Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Abdul Nazeer would be the only Muslim judge in the case.

Litigants have told News18 that the evidences include translations from ancient documents which have now been scanned for the brevity of the court.

Here’s a look at how the case has panned out:

1949: Idols of Ram Lalla are placed surreptitiously under the central dome of the Babri Mosque
1950: Lawyer Gopal Visharad files first suit in Faizabad civil court for rights to offer prayers to Ram Lalla
1950: Paramhansa Ramachandra Das files a suit for continuation of prayers and keeping idols in the structure
1959: Nirmohi Akhara files third suit, seeking direction to hand over charge of the disputed site.
1961: Sunni Central Waqf Board files fourth suit
1986: District judge orders locks be removed. Site opened for Hindu worshippers
1989: Pending suits are transferred to the High Court
1991: UP government acquires land around the structure for convenience of devotees who attend Ram Lalla darshan
1992: Babri Mosque is demolished by kar sevaks
1993: Government takes over 67 acres of land around the area, seeks apex court opinion on whether a Hindu place of worship existed there before the structure was built
1994: Case goes back to Lucknow bench of HC, suits heard again from 1996
2003: The Allahabad HC orders a survey to find out whether a temple existed on the site. ASI excavations claim features of a 10th century temple
2010: HC rules that the land be divided into three parts —1/3rd going to the Hindu Mahasabha, 1/3rd to Sunni Waqf Board and 1/3rd to Nirmohi Akhara. Mahasabha and Sunni Waqf Board move SC, challenging the HC verdict
2011: Dubbing it as “strange”, SC stays the Allahabad HC order. None of the parties had demanded partition of the land, it says
2015: VHP announces a nationwide drive to collect stones for building Ram Temple
2016: Subramanian Swamy says he hopes the construction would begin before year-end
March 6, 2017: SC hints at reviving criminal conspiracy charges against 13 BJP and other Right-wing leaders in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case. The conspiracy charges had been dropped by the special trial court in Lucknow on technical grounds
March 21, 2017: CJI Khehar offers to act as mediator to solve the dispute and advises Swamy that negotiation can solve this ‘sensitive issue’
April 19: SC restores conspiracy charges against BJP leaders, including LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti
May 31: Special CBI court charges the trio with criminal conspiracy
July 21: After Swamy mentions the matter again for urgent hearing before the SC, Khehar says the court will take an early decision
August 8: Shia Central Waqf Board files 30-page affidavit in court, taking back its claim on the disputed land and offering to settle for a mosque in a nearby Muslim-dominated area
August 11: SC bench headed by CJI-designate Dipak Misra begins hearing the matter

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