The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed 'Nirvani Akahara', one of the Hindu parties in the decades-old case of Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya, to file a written note seeking the "right to manage worship of the deity" as 'shebait' (devotee) at the site. A counsel for 'Nirvani Akahara' mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. The counsel said his client "miscalculated" the 3-day time granted by the court for filing the written note on moulding of relief.
"You file it now," the bench, which also comprised Justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer, told senior advocate Jaideep Gupta who was representing 'Nirvani Akhara'. "It is humbly submitted that none of the parties (amongst) Hindus in the aforementioned suits have made claims...for shebaitship right and are instead claiming either as the owner or as a next friend (of deity) ...and thereby seeking to build a temple at the disputed structure. Hence the 'pujari' and/or 'shebaitship rights of the present respondent (Nirvani Akahara) remained unchallenged...," the written note said.
Both 'Nirmohi Akahara' and its rival 'Nirvani Akahara' are seeking right to manage and offer 'puja' at the birthplace of deity 'Ram Lalla Virajman' at the site. While 'Nirmohi Akahara' had filed a lawsuit in 1959 seeking the right as 'shebait', 'Nirvani Akahara' has been made a party (defendant) in two separate lawsuits filed by Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Wakf Board and deity 'Ram Lalla', through next friend Deoki Nandan Agrwal, in 1961 and 1989 respectively. The Akahara has sought a direction that it be handed over the "right to manage the worship of the deity of the Ram Janambhoomi/disputed structure as the 'pujari' and/or 'shebait' of the deity".
Earlier, the Muslim parties, including the Sunni Wakf Board, had filed the written note on moulding of relief in Supreme Court and had said the verdict in the Ayodhya land dispute case will impact "future generations" and have "consequences" for the country's polity. "The decision by this court, whichever way it goes, will impact future generations. It will also have consequences for the polity of this country. This court's decision may impact the minds of millions who are citizens of this country and who believe in constitutional values embraced by all when India was declared a republic on January 26, 1950," said the note prepared by senior lawyer Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for the Muslim parties.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday, October 16, reserved the verdict in the contentious and politically-sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi- Babri Masjid land dispute case. The bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, and comprising of SC judges Justices S.A. Bopde, D.Y. Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan, S. Abdul Nazeer reserved the verdict in the case after hearing the concluding arguments from the parties.
The oral arguments in the long-pending Ayodhya case has been concluded. The apex court has given three days' time to the parties to file any written submissions. Additionally, sources from inside the courtroom said that the verdict in the case can be pronounced before November 17. Notably, as Rajeev Dhawan, the counsel of the Muslim body concluded his arguments, he reiterated his demand to have the mosque restored in its original condition as it existed before the demolition on December 6, 1992.
In a major twist on the 40th day of the day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya case, mediation panel of Justice FMI Kalifulla, Senior advocate Sriram Panchu, and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar filed a settlement report before the Supreme Court. This came after the Sunni Waqf board surrendered its claim over the disputed land in Ayodhya. The decision came in light of an agreement reached between a few parties during the mediation proceedings, at the final leg of the hearing on the 2.77 acres disputed land. The mediation panel submitted the sealed report in the apex court.
On August 2, CJI Ranjan Gogoi declared that the Ayodhya mediation panel failed to come to a settlement and declared that day-to-day hearings will start from August 6. Earlier on July 31, the Ayodhya mediation panel was allowed to continue talks to reach consensus between Hindu and Muslim sides over the dispute of construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya. After discussions, the panel submitted the report.
The apex court had made the mediation panel, earlier this year. The panel consisted of Justice FMI Kalifulla, Senior advocate Sriram Panchu, and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The panel was made for 8-week and Uttar Pradesh's Faizabad was set as the location where the mediation would be held. The eight-week deadline for the mediation talks were completed on May 3. However, the deadline was extended and the apex court on July 18 asked the mediation committee to continue the process and submit a report on the progress made till July 31.