Section 144 Imposed as Ayodhya Hearing Enters Final Leg

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New Delhi:The protracted hearing in the politically sensitive Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute at Ayodhya will enter its crucial final leg on Monday when the Supreme Court resumes proceedings on the 38th day after a week-long Dussehra break.

Keeping in mind the safety and security of people, upcoming festivals and the court verdict, the administration has imposed Section 144 of the CrPC prohibiting assembly of four or more persons across Ayodhya district till December 10.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, which started the day-to-day proceedings on August 6 after mediation proceedings failed to find an amicable solution to the vexatious dispute, has revised the deadline for wrapping up the proceedings and has fixed it for October 17.

Fourteen appeals have been filed in the court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara, and Ram Lalla.

Initially, as many as five lawsuits were filed in the lower court. The first was filed by Gopal Singh Visharad, a devotee of ‘Ram Lalla’, in 1950 to seek enforcement of the right to worship of Hindus at the disputed site.

In the same year, the Paramahansa Ramachandra Das had also filed the lawsuit for continuation of worship and keeping the idols under the central dome of the now-demolished disputed structure. The plea was later withdrawn.

Later, the Nirmohi Akahara also moved the trial court in 1959 seeking management and ‘shebaiti’ (devotee) rights over the 2.77 acre disputed land. Then came the lawsuit of the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Wakf Board which moved the court in 1961, claiming title right over the disputed property.

The deity, ‘Ram Lalla Virajman’ through next friend and former Allahabad High Court judge Deoki Nandan Agrawal, and the Janambhoomi (the birthplace) moved the lawsuit in 1989, seeking title right over the entire disputed property on the key ground that the land itself has the character of the deity and of a ‘Juristic entity’.

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