Supreme Court gets three more judges | Manisha Mondal, ThePrint
Supreme Court of India | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Text Size:

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday set off the countdown to a final verdict in the decades-old Ram Janmabhoomi case, saying arguments in the matter are likely to be wrapped up by 18 October.

This means the five-judge Constitution bench hearing the title suit could deliver the verdict within a month as CJI Ranjan Gogoi, who heads it, is set to retire on 17 November. 

Wednesday marked the 26th day of daily arguments in the Ram Janmabhoomi title suit, which centres on the land dispute at the heart of the issue. Both Muslims and Hindus claim right to the plot where the Babri Masjid stood in Ayodhya until Hindu fundamentalists brought it down in December 1992.  

Also Read: Ayodhya trial fallout: Lord Ram’s growing ‘descendants’ — Congress & BJP leaders, hotelier

Court to work extra hours

Urging parties to make joint efforts to ensure a speedy hearing in the case, the CJI said the court was considering holding hearings on Saturdays — which is usually an off-day for the court — and extending the daily hearing by an hour. 

The court’s observation came just a day after the five-judge bench sought to know from the parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Ram Lalla (the idol installed at the site), among others — how long it would take to wrap up the complete arguments. 

Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan is currently making submissions on behalf of the Sunni Waqf Board. 

We are deeply grateful to our readers & viewers for their time, trust and subscriptions.

Quality journalism is expensive and needs readers to pay for it. Your support will define our work and ThePrint’s future.


This would be followed by submissions from the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, a rebuttal by the Hindu parties, and counter-arguments by the Muslim parties. The Hindu parties had presented their first round of arguments in the earlier leg of the hearings.  

The bench also said it had received a letter from the SC-appointed Justice Fakir Mohamed Kalifulla-led mediation panel where it was proposed that the mediation process be resumed as it could help make headway in the case. The Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board had earlier written to the panel, urging it to allow resumption of mediation proceedings. 

The court said mediation could continue if the parties so chose, but added, “since the hearing is at an advanced stage”, the mediation would be carried out simultaneously with hearings and would remain a confidential affair. In case a settlement is arrived at, the court has directed the panel to inform it. 

The arguments

The Muslim parties have questioned the “archaeological evidence” relied on by the Hindus, saying the pillars found at the disputed site do not conclusively prove there had been a temple there. 

The Hindu parties argued that the 16th-century Babri Masjid was built on the ruins of a Ram temple at the site, which is believed to mark the birthplace of Hindu deity Ram. 

Dhavan, appearing for the Sunni Waqf Board and others including original litigant M. Siddiq, argued that the 14 kasauti pillars found at the site didn’t bear any image of a God.

One of the Hindu parties, the Nirmohi Akahara, had earlier staked claim to the disputed site by suggesting that pillars inside the mosque had images of human beings and animals, and that such a place could never be used for prayers according to Islam. 

However, Dhavan argued that no direct evidence of image of God has been presented and hence the claim of Hindus could not be proven. 

Also read: Rao to Vajpayee, Ayodhya mediation always failed. Supreme Court must not fall for it again


Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it

You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.

You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.

We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.

At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.

This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.

If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.

Support Our Journalism

Share Your Views


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here