The apex court will pronounce its verdict on whether the the 1994 judgment of the top court in Ismail Faruqui v. Union of India should be revisited by a Constitution bench.
The Supreme Court will shortly pronounce its judgment on the issue of reference of a plea against a 1994 judgement of the top court holding that offering namaz (prayer) at a mosque is not integral to Islam be referred to a larger bench. The judgment will be pronounced by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and Justice Ashok Bhushan and JusticeS Abdul Nazeer. The apex court will pronounce its verdict on whether the the 1994 judgment of the top court in Ismail Faruqui v. Union of India should be revisited by a Constitution bench.
Ahead of the court verdict in the case, here’s a broad look at a timeline of the events in the controversial Babri Masjid-Ramjanmabhoomi title dispute case.
1885: Mahant Raghubar Das of Uttar Pradesh’s Faizabad had filed a suit in the court of the Sub-Judge against the Secretary of State for India, seeking permission for construction of a temple on the area adjoining the Babri Masjid.
1949: The idols of Lord Ram found inside the masjid allegedly placed there by Hindus. Muslims protest and then both groups filed civil suits. The state administration proclaims the entire premise of a disputed area and locks the gates.
1950: Gopal Singh Visharad filed a plea in the Faizabad civil court seeking exclusive rights for performing of puja for Lord Rama.
1959: Another suit was filed by the Nirmohi Akhada. Akhada had sought the transfer of charge of the disputed site from the receiver.
1961: Another petition was filed in Faizabad Civil court by Suit by the UP Sunni Central Board of Wakfs to declare and possession of the Babri site.
1964: The tree petitions filed by Hindus and one by UP Sunni Central Board of Wakfs were considered as suit number 12/196 and became the main case in the dispute.
1986: Faizabad Session Judge allowed Hindu groups to perform pujas at the site. The locks were opened following the verdict. However, in protest, Muslims set up Babri Mosque Action Committee.
1989: Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) starts a campaign, which laid the foundations of a Rama temple on the land located beside the disputed masjid. The VHP also filed a case asking the court to shift mosque somewhere else.
1990: LK Advani, the then BJP president had launched a Rath Yatra for raising support to construct Ram temple.
December 6, 1992: The famous Babri Masjid riot took place after it was razed to the ground by a Hindu group. More than 2,000 people lose their lives.
December 16, 1992: The then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao had set a commission – MS Liberhan headed by Justice Liberhan to probe the demolition of Babri mosque.
1993: The then President Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma had sent a single-point reference under Article 143 to the Supreme Court asking it to decide whether any temple existed on the site or not.
1994: Supreme court refused to comment on the issue.
2002: The Allahabad HC asks ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) to excavate the site and decide on the existence of a Hindu temple.
April 2002: Riot in Gujarat took place after an arson attack on Ayodhya pilgrims in Godhra.
2003: A UP court had ordered that seven Hindu leaders should stand trial for the demolition of the Babri Masjid. However, no charges were brought against the then Home Minister LK Advani.
2004: A UP court had directed the probe agency to investigate the role of LK Advani.
2010: Just a day ahead of the Allahabad HC’s verdict, Supreme court asked High court not to pronounce the verdict till the deferment petition is heard by it.
September 28, 2010: SC dismissed deferment petition and asked the HC to pronounce judgement on September 30, 2010.
September 30, 2010: Pronouncing the judgment, the Allahabad HC had ordered three ways division of the property.
May 9, 2011: SC had stayed the judgment of the Allahabad HC.
2015: All concerned parties had submitted the records in various languages including- Persian, Sanskrit, Arabic, Gurumukhi, Urdu and Hindi.
2017: SC orders all parties to file the records in the English language.
December 5, 2017: Senior advocate Kapil Sibal had filed a petition in the SC seeking to hear the matter after the completion of 2019 General elections. However, the court turned down the request and listed February 8, 2018, for arguments.
February 8, 2018: Appearing for Sunni Waqf board, senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan had sought a day-to-day hearing but SC turned down the offer,
April 6, 2018: During the hearing of the case in the apex court, heated arguments were exchanged between Rajeev Dhavan and Additional Solicitor Generals Maninder Singh and Tushar Mehta.
July 20, 2018: The top court had reserved its judgment on the question of referring the case to a larger bench.