The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, while hearing the Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid demolition case, deferred the commencement of final hearing in the Ayodhya title dispute to 8th February 2018. The apex court also instructed all the advocates appearing for all the parties to ‘work in harmony and see that all the relevant documents are ready and filed’, after counsel for Sunni Waqf Board, Kapil Sibal submitted that some exhibits and documents pertaining to the title suit have not be filed and served by the parties. Earlier in the day, the top court began the final hearing in the Babri Masjid-Ram temple dispute case , a day before the 25th anniversary of the mosque’s demolition in Ayodhya. A special bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, justice Ashok Bhushan and justice S Abdul Nazeer assembled at 2pm on Tuesday to hear a total of 13 appeals filed against the 2010 judgment of the Allahabad high court in four civil suits.
The history of the Ayodhya conflict dates back to 1853. This was the time when the two groups of Hindus and Muslims fought over the site of worship. But on January 29, 1885, the first lawsuit was filed when the Mahant of Janmasthan, Raghubar Das, filed a suit against the Secretary of State for India in Council to build a temple at the Ram Chabutara spot. After independence, the first lawsuit was filed in 1949, and then again in 1959 by the Nirmohi Akhara laying claim to the disputed site. A couple of years later, the Uttar Pradesh Waqf board filed a litigation asking for the possession of Babri mosque in 1961.
Babri-Masjid Ram-Mandir – Ayodhya Verdict hearing highlights:
10:20 PM: The BJP chief said Gandhi should make the Congress’s stand on the issue clear. He said the party should tell if it is in agreement with Sibal’s views. “Kapil Sibal vehemently opposed building a Ram temple in Ayodhya. Sibal, who came prepared with a brief from his Muslim petitioners, was adamant on stopping the construction of the temple. When the apex court overruled his submission, he even tried to leave the court,” he said.
10:01 PM: Shah told reporters here that the entire country wanted the case to be heard soon, but when the matter came up in the Supreme Court today, Congress leader Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Sunni Waqf Board, sought its deferment till after the
2019 general elections.
9:45 PM: BJP president Amit Shah accused the Congress of adopting “double standards”, saying on one hand Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is on “election tour of temples (mandir ka chunavi daura) in Gujarat, while on the other his party wants the hearing on Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute to be deferred.
9:20 PM: The BJP today asked the Congress party to make its stand clear on the Ram Janmabhoomi issue after party leader Kapil Sibal sought deferment of the hearing on the title dispute till the conclusion of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
9:05 PM: Chinmayanand said former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi had sought a year’s time to resolve the Ayodhya dispute, but did not take any concrete step.
8:45 PM: “Somnath temple was demolished, and a mosque was built in its place. After then Union home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel intervened, the temple was rebuilt and restored. People had then hoped that Ram temple will be built in Ayodhya, but it never happened,” he said.
8:35 PM: Former Union minister Swami Chinmayanand today accused the Congress of deliberately delaying the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. The former minister of state for home said if the Congress wanted, it could have built a Ram temple in Ayodhya, and recalled Sardar Vallabhbhaai Patel’s contribution in restoring the Somnath temple in Gujarat.
8:25 PM: Who he represents in court is Kapil Sibal’s personal matter, Congress has nothing to do with it. Arun Jaitley ji was lawyer in Bhopal gas tragedy,does that mean whole of BJP is to be blamed?: Randeep Surjewala,Congress
8:14 PM: Congress stand has always been clear, that Ayodhya case will be decided by SC, same has been said by the Law Minister many times. BJP is playing the role of ‘Manthara’: Randeep Surjewala,Congress
8:05 PM: The bench, also comprising Justices Ashok Bhusan and S A Nazeer, asked the advocates on records (AoRs), dealing with as many 14 civil appeals against the 2010 judgement of the Allahabad High Court in the land dispute, to sit together and ensure that all requisite documents are translated, filed and numbered before the apex court Registry.
7:45 PM: A special bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also “prima facie” declined the demand put by a battery of senior lawyers including Kapil Sibal and Rajeev Dhavan that the appeals be either referred to a five or seven judge bench, keeping in mind the sensitive nature of the case and its ramifications on the country’s secular fabric and polity.
7:30 PM: The Supreme Court today rejected the vehement submission of Sunni Waqf Board and others that hearing of appeals in the sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute be conducted in July 2019 after the general elections and fixed February 8 to hear them.
7:15 PM: Ahead of the anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid, the Centre has asked all states to remain cautious and ensure that there was peace and no incident of communal tension anywhere in the country.
7: 01 PM: BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra lashed out at Kapil Sibal and asked Rahul Gandhi to clear his stand on the Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid case.
What has the Sunni Waqf Board to do with 2019 Elections?
Kapil Sibal totally exposed ..represents the Congress’ views more than the Waqf Board’s view?@OfficeOfRG should speak out whether He stands with the TEMPLE or otherwise! https://t.co/VdaTElWrVg
— Sambit Patra (@sambitswaraj) December 5, 2017
6: 43 PM: Kapil Sibal represents Congress’ views, says BJP’s spokesperson Sambit Patra.
— आज तक (@aajtak) December 5, 2017
6: 23 PM: Congress spokesperson clarifies party’s stand on the issue in a TV debate on a private news channel. Watch Video:
— News18 (@CNNnews18) December 5, 2017
6: 07 PM: Rahul ji is visiting temples in Gujarat but on the other hand Kapil Sibal is being used to delay Ram janmbhoomi case. Rahul ji should tell us what his view on this is: Amit Shah
— News18 (@CNNnews18) December 5, 2017
6: 05 PM: I think the Congress has shown two faces. We want a fast hearing and we want a Ram temple soon: Amit Shah, BJP President
5: 55 PM: Amit Shah reacts to Ayodhya verdict saying, “Today a surprising stand was taken in SC by Congress leader and Sunni Waqf Board lawyer Kapil Sibal ji, he said hearing should be deferred till after 2019 LS polls. Congress should clear its stand on this.”
5: 21 PM: In view of the 25th anniversary of Babri demolition tomorrow, Centre has advised states and union territories to remain alert and take all precautions to maintain peace and communal harmony: Ministry of Home Affairs sources
4: 33 PM: As per a PTI report, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, vehemently opposed contentions that the pleadings were not complete and asserted that everything has been complied with and the cases were ripe for hearing.
4: 05 PM: Supreme Court directs advocates on record of the appeals to sit together and ensure that all documents are filed and numbered as the apex court fixes Feb 8 next year for hearing civil appeals regarding the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute.
4: 00 PM: Ministry of Home Affairs issues advisory to states ahead of Babri structure demolition anniversary. Asks all states and Union Territories to take steps to maintain communal harmony
3: 53 PM: Ahead of 25th anniversary of Babri demolition tomorrow, there was high security in Ayodhya today. See Pics:
3: 50 PM: Shia Waqf Board Chairman Wasim Rizvi informs that the SC accepted the formula proposed by the body.
Good news is that the Supreme Court has taken the formula proposed by us on record: Wasim Rizvi,Shia Waqf Board Chairman on Ayodhya hearing pic.twitter.com/tSVdBti2a3
— ANI (@ANI) December 5, 2017
3: 45 PM: Supreme Court fixes February 8 as the date for the next hearing on Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid case.
— News18 (@CNNnews18) December 5, 2017
3: 40 PM: Advocates Kapil Sibal, Rajiv Dhawan along with other petitioner counsels want a larger bench of at least seven Judges to hear this matter.
3.29 PM: Ajoy Kumar, Congress leader said, “Their (BJP’s) many leaders are lawyers who have been fighting cases but why this case (Ayodhya Ram Mandir Case) is questioned?” The case for the Shia Waqf Board is fought by the Congress leader Kapil Sibal.
3.27 PM: “Shia Waqf Board wanted a compromise, and the panel has made a note of it,” Wasim Rizvi, member, Shia Waqf Board.
3.25 PM: Joy Sengupta, filmmaker on CNN News 18 said, “It is not about a property dispute. The constitution should be the main priority for us, and we should move the country in the correct democratic path.”
3.22 PM: “We should leave the property of dispute, this is a dispute that divides the nation into communal lines. Instead, we should build an educational institution on the disputed land,” said filmmaker Aparna Sen on CNN-News 18.
3.19 PM: “The place (disputed land in Ayodhya) needs to have a national, secular character. A national monument that stands for the secularism of the country should be made,” said filmmaker Shyam Benegal on CNN-News 18.
3.17 PM: Congress has got nothing to do with his case. As a client, if Kapil Sibal has been asked to do something, it cannot be linked to Congress: Brijesh Kalappa on CNN News 18.
3.13 PM: A BJP leader questions Kapil Sibal on – “Are you appearing on behalf of Congress?”
3.09 PM: Waqf board wants 5 member panel of judges to hear the case, TV reports.
3.05 PM: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar doesn’t make any comment on the Ayodhya Ram Mandir verdict. He said, “Dekhte hai kya verdict aata hai, hum bhi sune wo kya kehte hai. (Let’s see what the verdict is, we also want to know what they have to say)”
3.00 PM: ‘Hawan’ has been organised in Ayodhya for construction of Ram temple.
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) December 5, 2017
2.55 PM: ANI reports that Kapil Sibal told SC that whenever this matter is heard, there are serious repercussions outside the court and to preserve the decorum of law & order and that he personally requests the court to take this matter up on July 15, 2019, once all the pleadings are complete.
2.51 PM: SC says rejected the postponement of hearing of the Ram Mandir – Babri Masjid case reports CNN-News 18.
2.47 PM: “This entire hearing should be delayed and done after the 2019 general elections,” said Kapil Sibal in Supreme Court reports CNN-News 18.
2.44 PM: TV reports state that Kapil Sibal wants the hearing to be postponed.
2.39 PM: While speaking to CNN-News 18, the author of RSS founder’s biography Rakesh Sinha said, “Can you imagine India without Lord Ram? It’s not just a dispute about a piece of land.”
2.35 PM: Republic TV reports – “Let us wait for the Supreme Court judgment, what is the hurry,” asks John Dayal, one of the petitioners.
2.31 PM: Kapil Sibal who is representing Sunni Waqf Board raised doubts over assertions of ASG Mehta that how come more than 19000 pages of documents can be filed in such short time. Sibal told SC he and other petitioners have not been served relevant documents of pleading reports ANI.
2.26 PM: Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta, representing the State of Uttar Pradesh rebutted all the averments of Kapil Sibal. Mehta told SC that all the related documents and requisite translation copies are on record.
2.24 PM: ANI reported that Kapil Sibal told the three-judge bench of the Supreme Court that all these exhibits are not filled before this court. He submitted, all the pleadings are not complete.
2.22 PM: Senior advocate Kapil Sibal read out in SC the details of exhibits filed by the contesting defendants before the Allahabad High Court reports ANI.
2.15 PM: Initial reports by ABP News state that Waqf board has asked for a separate land in the Lucknow.
2.08 PM: ABP News states that the court-room is packed with people.
2.05 PM: TV reports state that the apex court has started listening to the Waqf board at precisely 2.02 PM.
1.50 PM: 32 activists led by Teesta challenge the Allahabad court order reports Republic TV.
1.30 PM: The Supreme Court is likely to have the hearing at 2 pm today.
1.00 PM: WATCH NOW
12.30 PM: Way back in 1935, multiple riots rocked city of Ayodhya and parts of the Babri Masjid were damaged in these riots. The state government intervened and the damaged sections of the mosque were rebuilt by the state government.
12.00 PM: It was the year 2002 when a group of Kar Sewaks who were returning from Ayodhya in Sabarmati Express when the train was set on fire. The fire killed most of the Kar Sevaks which acted as a trigger to communal riots in the state of Gujarat, resulting in hundreds of deaths.
11.30 AM: It can be traced back to the year 1885 when the first known report of riots between Hindus and Muslims about the Babri Masjid. A brick wall with iron grills separating the Babri Masjid and the Ram Chabutara came up inside the courtyard where the mosque had once stood. This led to a heightening of tensions between the Hindu and Muslim communities, and it escalated into a riot.
11.00 AM: The Litigators of the case-
Nirmohi Akhara sect: They are a group of ascetics who are devotees of Lord Ram.
Sunni Central Wakf Board, UP: It is an elected body that oversees the maintenance and control of several properties donated for religious or charitable purposes.
Ramlala Virajman: The idol of Lord Ram placed at the site after the Babri Masjid demolition.
10.45 AM: In 1992, within a year after the demolition of Babri Masjid, the financial capital of India, Mumbai saw large-scale rioting which led to a series of bomb blasts in 1993.
10.30 AM: RJD chief Lalu Prasad in his column in the Indian Express writes, “Babri demolition was an attack on idea and promise enshrined in India’s Constitution”.