The Supreme Court on Thursday fixed January 29 as the next date of hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute matter after Justice UU Lalit recused himself from the case.
A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, and comprising of Justice SA Bobde, Justice NV Ramana, Justice UU Lalit and Justice DY Chandrachud, said that there will be no hearing in the case on Thursday adding that only date and schedule will be decided.
Justice UU Lalit recused himself from hearing the case after advocate Rajeev Dhavan pointed out that Justice Lalit had appeared for Kalyan Singh government in 1997.
Earlier, the matter was slated to be heard by a three-judge bench headed by former CJI Dipak Misra. The matter was heard by present CJI Ranjan Gogoi, after Misra’s retirement on October 2. On January 4, a bench headed by Gogoi decided that the matter would be heard by a three-member bench of the SC. Later, on January 8, it was decided that the matter would be heard by a five-judge bench.
The bench will also decide on, whether the matter would be heard on a daily basis. The hearing of the Ram Temple case assumes importance ahead of general elections 2019.
The politically sensitive issue is central to BJP’s poll promise on 2014. While those demanding the construction of a Ram Mandir have been urging the government to take a legislative route — ordinance — to construct the Ram Temple, PM Narendra Modi, in a recent interview to news agency ANI said that an ordinance would be considered only after the legal process is over.
(with ANI inputs)