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SC Constitution Bench to hear Ayodhya case today

ANI  |  New Delhi [India] 

A five-judge Constitution Bench of the will hear the Ram Janmabhoomi-land title dispute today (Thursday) and is expected to decide the timeline and how to proceed with the case further.

The Constitution Bench headed by Justice will hear the matter along with four other Bobde, Ramana, Justice UU and Justice DY

The bench is expected to decide the frequency of hearings in the case that has been pending in the apex court since last eight years. Thursday's hearing assumes significance because parties in the case and various right-wing organisations have been asking for an early or day-to-day hearing for long.

However, when the matter came up for a hearing last year the top court had refused to grant an urgent hearing, saying the court had "other priorities" and posted the matter for hearing in the first week of January this year before the "appropriate bench."

Two days back, Justice Gogoi had constituted a Constitution bench to hear the matter. However, former Justice had refused to refer the matter to the Constitution Bench and had said that the apex court would hear the issue purely as a "land dispute."

The new Constitution bench not only comprises the incumbent Chief Justice, but other four judges are also in line to be the Chief Justice of in the future. After Chief Justice Gogoi's retirement, Justice will be the next Chief Justice followed by Justices Ramana, Lalit, and

"The issue should be heard quickly so that the whole controversy is set to rest. People should let the court decide. I believe if the court is beginning the hearing on January 10, then it should look forward to concluding the matter or make its judgement by March," former of told ANI.

There are as many as 14 appeals pending in the apex court against the 2010 judgement, delivered in four civil suits. The bench of the in its September 30, 2010, verdict ordered that the disputed site be divided into three parts--one for deity (Ramlala Virajmaan), another for Nirmohi Akhara-a Hindu sect, and third to the original litigant in the case for the Muslims.

Zafaryab Jilani, convener, Action Committee, told ANI, "So far as the day-to-day hearing is concerned, it is the prerogative of the court. We have been saying since 1986 that the case should be decided within six months. In 1989 again we moved an application before the High Court that it should be decided by day-to-day hearing, but our application was not accepted."

of Vishwa Hindu Parishad is also hopeful that "substantial progress" will be made in the matter from now onwards. "I hope that the court will pronounce its judgement soon. We have our fingers crossed," Kumar said.

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's (RSS) expressed similar views.

"The five judges of the Constitutional Bench are the most qualified ones. The whole country wishes that the Bench should hear the matter and give its verdict as soon as possible. We also pray to God that the time comes when the whole nation wins and nobody loses because this case is not a conflict between religions or parties," told ANI.

said that should be made in through "mutual support." chief Waseem Rizvi, on the other hand, said that the five judges will not hear the matter on the basis of their respective religion. "They will make a fair decision in the matter," he added.

told ANI, "I believe that no pressure is put on the regarding this matter. The Constitutional Bench is impartial and will decide what is right for all. The court will hopefully pronounce its verdict soon in the matter."

Despite pressure from the NDA ally and various other groups, Narendra Modi, in his interview with ANI last week, had said that the is waiting for a legal resolution in the matter.

said that the people trust the five judges of the top court and will abide by their decision. However, he added that the matter "is not going to close in one or two hearings. It will take time.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, January 10 2019. 10:24 IST