• Associate Sponsor

As Ayodhya – Babri masjid title suit hearing begins, Muslims may seek a larger Bench

Babri masjid demolition case: The appeal, which was last heard on December 5, 2017, is before a three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, and also comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer.

Written by Seema Chishti | New Delhi | Updated: February 8, 2018 10:33 am
Ayodhya hearing in SC today One of the parties to the case outside the Supreme Court on December 5, the day it was last heard. (Express Photo/Tashi Tobgyal/Archive)

The Supreme Court will resume hearing on Thursday cross-appeals against the Allahabad High Court order of September 30, 2010, which partitioned the disputed Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya three ways. The appeal, which was last heard on December 5, 2017, is before a three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, and also comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer.

Among those arguing the case for the Babri Masjid, the view is firming up that the matter should be heard by a larger Bench. While nothing is being said publicly yet, the side arguing for Hashim Ansari (deceased, now being represented by his son Iqbal Ansari) may argue that since the courts have earlier spoken of larger Benches in matters of national and Constitutional importance, this appeal must be heard by a Bench of “at least seven judges”.

This issue was raised on December 5 last year and recorded in the order that was passed — but was kept open for consideration at a later stage. At least three earlier cases in the Ayodhya matter have been decided by a larger Bench of the Supreme Court when the suits for title were pending in the High Court.

The importance of the matter was stated in the High Court judgment, as well as in earlier judgments by larger Benches of the Supreme Court. Even the original suits for title were heard by three judges of the High Court, contrary to the general practice of such matters being heard by a single judge of the district court.

Also Read | Babri demolition 25 years later: How High Court saw answer in split verdict

The December hearing had been dramatic, with senior counsel threatening to walk away from the proceedings if the matter was not postponed and all documents not made available to the appellants. Now, sources say, a lot of the material has been made available to the parties, with translations and photocopying having been nearly completed.

Title suits over the land on which the Babri Masjid once stood were filed between 1950 and 1984.

On December 6, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told an election rally in Gujarat: “Kapil Sibal advocated the cause of the Muslim community. He has the right to do it and we do not have any problem with it. You can present your argument quoting all facts and laws… But you dare say that the case should not be heard till the 2019 elections? You want to stop the hearing of the Ram Temple (issue) in the name of elections?”

Sibal, a Congress MP who appeared for Iqbal Ansari, had asked that the matter be heard after the 2019 general elections.

Advocate Shakeel Syed, counsel for the Sunni Waqf Board, when contacted, said, “We are confident and prepared for the hearing, and we will argue our case.” Advocate M R Shamshad, counsel for Iqbal Ansari, said, “You will come to know what we have to say when we argue.”

For all the latest Explained News, download Indian Express App

  1. Madhukar Nikam
    Feb 8, 2018 at 1:32 pm
    Whomsoever Kapil Sibal represents looses .....the judges find him too repulsive
    (2)(0)
    Reply
    1. Atmaswarupananda Swami
      Feb 8, 2018 at 1:06 pm
      Decission should take the earliest. There is no need of larger or shorter bench any more. Justice should be done. Ramjanmabhoomi case is beyond court decission. There shouldnot be any comprimise regarding Ramajanmabhoomi. Babar was a barberian looter.who came to Bharath to loot and kill Hindus. Those who support gim are anti-Bharath elements who are trying to creat problems like Islam-countries.
      (5)(32)
      Reply
      1. Sayed Maqsood Ahmed
        Feb 8, 2018 at 1:39 pm
        I think Indian courts are competent to hear such a critical case involved the faith of two communities, so i am of the view that the case may be referred to the International Court of Justice in Haque, who will give impartial judgment without favour any party,
        (2)(4)
        Reply
      2. V
        vnk
        Feb 8, 2018 at 1:04 pm
        Babur was an invader and looetr, who got destroyed Ram Temlt and built an illegal and illegitimate mosque there. Those who claim to be his loot inheritors should be prosecuted for the crimes of that criminal goonda.
        (5)(15)
        Reply
        1. Sayed Maqsood Ahmed
          Feb 8, 2018 at 1:39 pm
          I think Indian courts are competent to hear such a critical case involved the faith of two communities, so i am of the view that the case may be referred to the International Court of Justice in Haque, who will give impartial judgment without favour any party,
          (0)(3)
          Reply
        2. Daisy Boy
          Feb 8, 2018 at 12:29 pm
          Obviously politicians would like to derive political advantage from this case - that's stating the oh-so-obvious since 1989. In order to prevent any political party from exploiting this to their political advantage, its better that this case is solved immediately after the general elections of 2019.
          (8)(12)
          Reply
          1. Sayed Maqsood Ahmed
            Feb 8, 2018 at 1:39 pm
            I think Indian courts are competent to hear such a critical case involved the faith of two communities, so i am of the view that the case may be referred to the International Court of Justice in Haque, who will give impartial judgment without favour any party,
            (0)(0)
            Reply
            1. S
              Sasidharan
              Feb 9, 2018 at 8:21 am
              If indian courts are competent then why international court? Are you contradicting yourself
              (0)(0)
          2. G
            Giri Gowda
            Feb 8, 2018 at 12:15 pm
            Why this Kapil Sibal always want to fight against Hindus of the country?? Is it on the orders of his Congress only high command family???
            (0)(0)
            Reply
            1. Load More Comments
            Adda