Babri Masjid case: Supreme Court to start final hearing on December 5; grants three months for translating historical documents

On August 8, the Uttar Pradesh's Shia Central Waqf Board told the Supreme Court that a mosque can be built near Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

Published: 11th August 2017 04:57 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th August 2017 08:41 AM   |  A+A-

Babri Masjid before its demolition

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: On the eve of the 25th anniversary of the demolition of the Babri masjid, the Supreme Court will start final hearing of the 13 appeals in the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid case from December 5.

A three judge special bench of justices Dipak Misra, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer asked the contesting parties, including the deity Ram Lalla, UP Central Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara, the UP government and several representatives of the original parties who died during the long years of litigation, to start their arguments from December 5 onwards for two more days.

The court directed the Uttar Pradesh government to translate the case documents running into more than 9,000 pages (523 documentary exhibits) within 12 weeks. The documents include scripts and records written in various languages ranging from Pali, Arabic, Persian, Gurumukhi to Urdu.

“Regard being complexity of the case, we grant 12 weeks for the translation. No adjournments shall be granted for the purpose,” the bench said.

Additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta appearing on behalf of the state government stressed that the hearing should begin soon and parties can translate the documents which they want to rely on during the hearings.

However, the ASG’s statement evoked sharp opposition from senior advocates appearing on behalf of the Sunni Waqf Board and other parties.

“The documents need to be translated first and the translations have to be finalised before the hearing starts,” Kapil Sibal said.

This prompted the bench to ask the parties, “What were they doing in the past seven years when the appeal against the 2010 Allahabad High Court was not listed here? Why did you not finish translating the documents.” “To say that the case is not ripe for hearing is not proper. We have to examine the High Court judgment. We can’t wait for translations,” the bench said.

Senior counsel C S Vaidyanathan, appearing for Lord Ram Lalla and Tushar Mehta pressed for early hearing of the matter, but senior advocates Kapil Sibal, Anoop George Chaudhari, Rajeev Dhavan and Sushil Jain, representing other parties, including the All India Sunni Waqf Board and Nirmohi Akhara, were not in favour of commencement of the hearing before January next year.

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