The following is the chronology of events in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case in Ayodhya in which the Supreme Court Friday referred the politically sensitive case for mediation to a panel headed by former apex court judge F M I Kallifulla and gave it eight weeks to complete the process.
– 1528: Babri Masjid built by Mir Baqi, commander of Mughal emperor Babur.
– 1885: Mahant Raghubir Das files plea in Faizabad district court seeking permission to build a canopy outside the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid structure. Court rejects plea.
– 1949: Idols of Ram Lalla placed under a central dome outside the disputed structure.
– 1950: Gopal Simla Visharad files suit in Faizabad district court for rights to worship the idols of Ram Lalla.
– 1950: Paramahansa Ramachandra Das files suit for continuation of worship and keeping the idols.
– 1959: Nirmohi Akhara files suit seeking possession of the site.
– 1981: UP Sunni Central Waqf Board files suit for possession of the site.
– Feb 1, 1986: Local court orders the government to open the site for Hindu worshippers.
– Aug 14, 1989: Allahabad HC ordered maintenance of status quo in respect of the disputed structure.
– Dec 6, 1992: Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid structure demolished.
– Apr 3, 1993: ‘Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act’ passed for acquisition of land by Centre in the disputed area. – Various writ petitions, including one by Ismail Faruqui, filed in Allahabad HC challenging various aspects of the Act. – Supreme Court exercising its jurisdiction under Article 139A transferred the writ petitions, which were pending in the High Court.
– Oct 24, 1994: SC says in the historic Ismail Faruqui case that mosque was not integral to Islam.
– Apr, 2002: HC begins hearing on determining who owns the disputed site.
– Mar 13, 2003: SC says, in the Aslam alias Bhure case, no religious activity of any nature be allowed at the acquired land.
– Mar 14: SC says interim order passed should be operative till disposal of the civil suits in Allahabad HC to maintain communal harmony.
– Sep 30, 2010: HC, in a 2:1 majority, rules three-way division of disputed area between Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
– May 9, 2011: SC stays HC verdict on Ayodhya land dispute.
– Feb 26, 2016: Subramanian Swamy files plea in SC seeking construction of Ram Temple at the disputed site.
– Mar 21, 2017: CJI JS Khehar suggests out-of-court settlement among rival parties.
– Aug 7: SC constitutes three-judge bench to hear pleas challenging the 1994 verdict of the Allahabad HC.
– Aug 8: UP Shia Central Waqf Board tells SC mosque could be built in a Muslim-dominated area at a reasonable distance from the disputed site.
– Sep 11: SC directs Chief Justice of the Allahabad HC to nominate two additional district judges within ten days as observers to deal with the upkeep of the disputed site.
– Nov 20: UP Shia Central Waqf Board tells SC temple can be built in Ayodhya and mosque in Lucknow.
– Dec 1: Thirty-two civil rights activists file plea challenging the 2010 verdict of the Allahabad HC.
– Feb 8, 2018: SC starts hearing the civil appeals.
– Mar 14: SC rejects all interim pleas, including Swamy’s, seeking to intervene as parties in the case.
– Apr 6: Rajeev Dhavan files plea in SC to refer the issue of reconsideration of the observations in its 1994 judgement to a larger bench.
– Jul 6: UP government tells SC some Muslim groups were trying to delay the hearing by seeking reconsideration of an observation in the 1994 verdict.
– Jul 20: SC reserves verdict.
– Sep 27: SC declines to refer the case to a five-judge Constitution bench. Case to be heard by a newly constituted three-judge bench on October 29.
– Oct 29: SC fixes the case for the first week of January before an appropriate bench, which will decide the schedule of hearing.
– Nov 12: SC declines early hearing of petitions in the case requested by Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha.
– Nov 22: SC dismisses PIL seeking direction to organisations and public at large to “behave” and not air their views that can spoil the atmosphere till it decides the title dispute case.
– Dec 24: SC decides to take up petitions on case for hearing on January 4.
– Jan 4, 2019: SC says an appropriate bench constituted by it will pass an order on January 10 for fixing the date of hearing in the title case.
– Jan 8: SC sets up a five-judge Constitution Bench to hear the case headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices S A Bobde, N V Ramana, U U Lalit and D Y Chandrachud.
– Jan 10: Justice U U Lalit recuses himself prompting SC to reschedule the hearing for January 29 before a new bench.
– Jan 25: SC reconstitutes 5-member Constitution Bench to hear the case. The new bench comprises Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer.
– Jan 27: SC cancels the January 29 hearing due to non-availability of Justice S A Bobde.
– Jan 29: Centre moves SC seeking permission to return the 67-acre acquired land around the disputed site to original owners.
– Feb 20: SC decides to hear the case on Feb 26.
– Feb 26: SC favours mediation, fixes Mar 5 for order on whether to refer matter to court-appointed mediator.
– Mar 6: SC reserves order on whether the land dispute can be settled through mediation.
– Mar 8 : SC refers the dispute for mediation by a panel headed by former apex court judge F M I Kallifulla.