How a decade-old contempt case against an ex-CM delayed the Ayodhya case hearing
The hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case has now been deferred till January 29 and Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has to set up a new bench.Updated: Jan 10, 2019 15:02 IST
A contempt case that former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh faced back in the 1990s led to a change in the Supreme Court’s constitution bench that will decide the decades-old Ayodhya case. Justice UU Lalit, one of the five judges who started hearings in the case, recused himself from the case after a senior lawyer reminded the bench that he had been associated with the case in a different capacity.
Justice Lalit, then a lawyer, had appeared for one the parties after contempt proceedings were initiated against Kalyan Singh for not maintaining status quo at the disputed site. After the SC ordered status quo in the disputed land, Kalyan Singh’s government had filed an affidavit that the status quo will be maintained.
Watch: Babri Masjid row: Supreme Court fixes January 29 as next date of hearing
The apex court initiated contempt proceedings against Kalyan Singh after it was found that structures were being erected at the site. Kalyan Singh was found guilty and the court sentenced him to a token imprisonment of one day with a fine of Rs 20,000.
The hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case has now been deferred till January 29 and Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has to set up a new bench.
The Supreme Court is hearing 14 cross-appeals in the Ayodhya title suit case. The appeals were filed against the Allahabad high court’s judgment dividing the land equally among the three parties - the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara, a Hindu religious denomination, and Ram Lalla, or infant Ram, represented by the Hindu Mahasabha - for the construction of a Ram temple.
The Supreme Court was originally supposed to hear the case in October, but deferred this to January, rejecting the Uttar Pradesh government’s plea for speedy hearings with CJI Gogoi saying the court had its “own priorities”
The postponement had led to demands from several right-wing groups affiliated to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party for a law or executive order to facilitate the building of a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a recent interview that his government would wait for the courts to rule on the case.
First Published: Jan 10, 2019 13:42 IST