A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court will next hear the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute on February 26. The title dispute, known as the Ayodhya case, was supposed to be heard on January 29 but that hearing was cancelled because Justice SA Bobde, one of the judges on the Constitution bench, was unavailable.
On February 26, a Tuesday, a Constitution bench comprising of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer will take up the Ayodhya matter.
The Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title case deals with a controversial piece of land in Uttar Padesh's Ayodhya where lord Ram is believed to have been born. The Babri Masjid stood on that land until it was controversially demolished by Hindu 'kar-sevaks' in 1992. The Babri demolition led to nation-wide communal riots.
In 2010, the Allahabad High Court divided the dispute Ayodhya site into three parts -- two were given to groups that want to build a Ram temple at the site. The third part was given to a group that wants a mosque at the Ayodhya site.Appeals were filed against the Allahabad High Court verdict and the Supreme Court is now hearing the matter.
The Supreme Court has attracted controversy for the delays in hearing the case. In October last year, the Supreme Court said no to an urgent hearing and said the matter would be taken up in 2019. On January 4, the Supreme Court heard the Ayodhya case for 60 seconds and adjourned the matter to January 10.
On January 10, a bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde, NV Ramana, UU Lalit and DY Chandrachud.
However, the hearing was suddenly adjourned after Justice UU Lalit recused himself from hearing the Ayodhya case due a possible conflict of interest.
Then, on January 25 a new five-judge bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer was set up to hear the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute.
The bench was supposed to hear the case on January 29. However, that wasn't possible due to Justice SA Bobde's unavailability.