Hearing in Supreme Court to start on eve of Babri razing anniversary

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The court directed the Uttar Pradesh government to file translated version of the oral evidence given in the title suits within 12 weeks.

Nearly seven years after the Allahabad High Court's September 30, 2010 order dividing the 2.7-acre disputed land at the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site equally between Ram Lalla, Nirmohi Akhara and Sunni Waqf Board, the Supreme Court is scheduled to take up cross-appeals on August 11.

The apex court also announced that the case would be heard by a three-judge bench from December 5, comprising of Justices Dipak Misra, Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer.

The bench made it clear that the parties would have to strictly adhere to the time frame fixed by it and no adjournment shall be given in any circumstances.

More than 70 years after the Faizabad Civil Court rejected its claim over Babri Masjid as a Shia Waqf, the Shia Central Waqf Board of Uttar Pradesh has moved the Supreme Court to assert its claim over the disputed site.

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Mr Sibal brought to the notice of the bench that there are voluminous records, scripts and documents in seven languages, Sanskrit, Pali, Hindi, Persian, Arabic, Punjabi and Urdu which are to be translated to English.

The 30-page affidavit assumes significance as it has been filed within few days of the apex court agreeing to fast track the hearing on a batch of appeals challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict on the land dispute in the case. He had requested the court for an "intervening opportunity" to get heard. Mr. Sibal and Mr. Dhawan said the documents needed to be translated first and the translations have to be finalised before the hearings start.

One such scene was created when Advocate MC Dhingra Rose to speak on behalf of the Shia Central Waqf Board which has sought to replace the Sunni Central Waqf Board as a party to the case. The petitioners argued against high court judgement conceding the disputed land to be the birthplace of Lord Ram.

The RSS, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and BJP have been running a campaign for construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya. On December 6, 1992, Hindu volunteers gathered at the site had demolished the mosque.

Earlier, CJI Khehar had offered to play a mediator to solve the contentious issue if parties agreed to it, saying a negotiated settlement of the Ayodhya dispute was a better option.

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