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Supreme Court begins daily hearings in Ayodhya land title dispute case

Nirmohi Akhada starts arguments, lays claim to entire dispute structure spread over 2.77 acre

Aashish Aryan  |  New Delhi 

Supreme Court
A general view of the Supreme Court after the Ayodhya hearing was rescheduled to January 29. Photo: Aashish Aryan

The Supreme Court on Tuesday started day-to-day hearing in the fourteen cases related to land title dispute after a court-appointed panel, led by (Retired) Judge Justice F M I Kalifulla, failed to find a solution through mediation. A five-judge constitution bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi is hearing the various parties who have laid claims to various parts of the entire disputed structure.

The fourteen cases also include a challenge to a 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment which had ruled that the 2.77-acre land in should be partitioned equally among Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. The hearing for the day began with the five-judge bench turning down a plea moved by former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologue K N Govindacharya, who had sought recording of the proceedings if live telecast of the same was not possible.

Starting the arguments on Tuesday, Nirmohi Akhada laid claim to entire disputed structure with a plea saying, as no Muslims had been allowed to enter the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid structure in Ayodhya since 1934, the Akhada should be handed over the management of the place.

“We were in possession of inner courtyard and Ram Janmasthan for hundreds of years. Outer courtyard having 'Sita Rasoi', 'Chabutra', 'Bhandar Grih' were in our possession. It was never a part of dispute in any case," said senior advocate Sushil Jain, appearing for Nirmohi Akhada.

Claiming that it was a registered body, the Nirmohi Akhada said that their suit was for belongings, possession and management rights of the Ram temple at Ayodhya. The possession of the inner courtyard, the Akhada said in its submissions, had been with them for ‘hundreds of years’, and had even provided refuge to Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi.

“My prayer is for removal of (court-appointed) receiver and returning possession and management rights (to Akhada)” Jain, said. The arguments by the Akhada are likely to continue on Wednesday.

First Published: Tue, August 06 2019. 20:04 IST
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