With the Uttar Pradesh government pushing for an early hearing, the Supreme Court on Friday scheduled the hearing of 13 appeals in the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute for December 5, the eve of the 25th anniversary of the demolition of the 15th century mosque by kar sevaks on December 6, 1992.
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 the Ramlala, who were all claimants.
During the 100-minute long hearing, the Muslim litigant argued against early hearing in the case holding the translation of documents from Persian and Urdu as important for the hearing to progress. All parties involved had challenged the decision in the Supreme Court.
The Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board has already stirred waters with an affidavit urging the SC to set up a "political-judicial" committee to mediate in the Ayodhya case even as it said it was agreeable to the construction of a mosque away from the disputed site.
Additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta appearing on behalf of the state government stressed that the hearing should begin soon and parties can translate the documents which they want to rely on during the hearings. "Maybe that Babar ordered Abdul Mir Baqi to build mosque, Mir Baqi (Shia) chose the site and having demolished the temple got the mosque built and dedicated it to the God, thereby creating a Shia Wakf".
Senior advocate Shyam Divan, C S Vaidynathan and others, representing the other side including Ram Lalla, Nirmohi Akhara, submitted the court should not be wasting any more time and start considering the matter. The Sunni Waqf Board tells Supreme Court that the translation of historic documents is not complete yet.
Numerous original plantiffs and defendants in the matter including Mohd Hashim, who was the first person to take the matter to the apex court, have died. On July 21, Chief Justice JS Khehar had agreed to take early hearing after a plea filed by Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy.
Swamy had said the main appeals against the Allahabad High Court order are pending for the last seven years in the apex court and these required urgent hearing. "Since, the Babri Masjid was a Shia Waqf, we are alone entitled to negotiate and arrive at peaceful settlement with other stakeholders", Shia Waqf Board was quoted as saying in its statement.