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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

Early SC verdict in Babri-Ram temple case unlikely

M Hasan, Hindustan Times  Lucknow, August 26, 2013
First Published: 21:00 IST(26/8/2013) | Last Updated: 21:02 IST(26/8/2013)

Even as Sangh Parivar has been desperately trying to revive Ayodhya temple movement for electoral gains, there appears to be hardly any possibility of an early judicial solution to contentious Babri Masjid-Ramnamabhoomi case pending in Supreme Court.

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Even after lapse of three years the hearing in the case is yet to commence.

Not accepting the verdict of Lucknow bench of high court on September 30, 2010, all three contenders-Ramlala, Nirmohi Akhara and Sunni Central Waqf Board had moved the Supreme Court in 2011.

The waqf board was the first to challenge the HC verdict trifurcating 1500 square yard of land among the three contenders in January 2011. Thereafter two other parties also landed in apex court, which had stayed High Court decision in May 2011.

Talking to HT on Monday senior executive committee member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) Zafaryab Jilani, who is also additional advocate general of UP, said that the hearing in apex court could not start because entire records both original and digital copies were yet to reach the supreme court.

Jilani said apart from original documents, the apex court had also sought digital copies of entire records from the High Court.

"Only witnesses statements are running into approximately 10,000 pages," Jilani said, adding the apex court could not start hearing in the case because of non-availability of records. Even after handing over of entire records its translation from Hindi and Urdu into English would require at least one year, Jilani said.

In High Court, while two judges - Justice Sudhir Agarwal, and Justice SU Khan had equally trifurcated 1500 square meter of land and gave it to three contenders- Ramlala, Nirmohi Akhara and Sunni Central Waqf Board, justice DV Sharma had accepted complete ownership of the land to Ramlala. The trifurcation of land was not acceptable to all three parties, who said that the original case was about ownership of title of land and not about its division. From Faizabad district court where the case started in 1950 to High Court, the civil suit lasted for 60 years. The case was shifted to High Court on July 10, 1989.

Pointing out that digitization of the record was quite time consuming, Jilani said dispatch of original record was not possible without the completion of this process. He said hearing in apex court would begin only after receipt of entire records and its translation in English. He said English translation of each document was necessary in apex court.

Citing pendency of the case in apex court the state government had banned VHP-sponsored 84-kosi parikrama in Ayodhya. Even the SP chief Mulayam Singh said in Lok Sabha today that matter was sub-judice. The AIMPLB has already announced that it would accept the final verdict from the apex court. 

Status of criminal cases:
Nearly 21 years after the demolition (December 6, 1992) of Babri mosque two criminal cases - No 197 and 198- are still pending in Lucknow and Rai Bareli courts respectively. The CBI had registered these two cases in 1993.

The case number 197 pending in Lucknow CBI court is against "Karsewaks", who were directly involved in the demolition. In this case 85 witnesses have so far appeared.

The case number 198 is a conspiracy case against eight accused- BJP-VHP leaders LK Advani, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiyar, Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore, Vishnu Hari Dalmia and Sadhvi Rithambahara. The proceedings in the case started in 2005 in special court in Rai Bareli and so far nearly three dozens witnesses have appeared in the court. The cross-examination has been going on.


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