SC sets Oct 18 deadline for Ayodhya arguments

The Supreme Court (SC) today said that Ayodhya hearing must be completed by October 18. The court has asked all parties to present their arguments before the set deadline.

It asserted that if the petitioners wanted, they can settle for the temple-mosque dispute case through mediation. The daily hearings of the case will continue, the court said on the 26th day of hearings. The judgement has to be delivered before Chief Justice of India (CJI) Gogoi retires on November 17.

‘Let us all make a combined effort to conclude the hearing by October 18,’ Gogoi said. The court may sit for an extra hour and on Saturdays to adhere to the deadline. The top court arrived at this date after all the petitioners submitted a time schedule required by them.

Daily hearings were declared from August 6 after the court failed to arrive at a decision through a mediation process. The dispute involves the site in Ayodhya which is believed to be Ram Janmabhoomi (Lord Ram’s birthplace). It is also where the 16th-century Babri mosque stood.

The 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict equally partitioned the 2.77-acre land among three parties– the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla (infant Ram). Apart from CJI Gogoi, judges in the constitution bench are Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer.

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