As the five-judge bench of the Supreme Court begins hearings on the Ram Janmabhoomi- Babri Masjid title dispute on Thursday, Newsclick brings you a legal capsule of the case which has vast political ramifications in an election year.
,The Ayodhya dispute which is coming up for hearing in the Supreme Court on January 10, 2019, is an incendiary mix of legal proceedings on who owns the disputed land where Babri Masjid once stood, and the political use of this dispute by the BJP/Sangh Parivar to arouse anti-Muslim passions and derive electoral benefit. Below is a compressed timeline of only the legal part of the dispute. For understanding how this intertwines with the political movement on Ram Temple, Newsclick will carry a separate analysis in due course.
Ayodhya Hearing – A Legal Timeline of the Dispute
|December 22, 1949
||Idols of Ram Lalla (the child Ram) placed inside Babri Masjid by Hindu activists. FIR registered.
||Two suits filed in district court – one to secure rights of worship, second to continue worship and allow idols. Court orders status quo and locking of site.
||Third suit filed by Nirmohi Akhara for handing over charge of site.
||Fourth suit by UP Sunni Waqf board for possession of site.
||District Judge orders removal of locks and allows worship of Ram Lalla.
||All four suits transferred to Allahabad High Court. Fifth suit filed in the name of Ram Lalla Virajman for declaration and possession of site.
||BJP-led Uttar Pradesh state government acquires land around masjid for congregation of Hindu devotees.
|6 December 1992
||Mob of karsevaks demolishes Babri Masjid. FIRs filed – one for demolition, other against Advani, Joshi and others for inciting mob.
||Central Government acquires 67 acres of land including disputed site through an Act.
||Supreme Court dismisses Ismail Farooqui petition against acquisition.
||Conspiracy charges against Advani et al dropped by Spl. Judge. Revision petition dismissed by Allahabad HC.
||Allahabad HC orders three-way division of 2.77 acres disputed land – one part to Sunni Waqf Board and two parts to Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla each.
||Supreme Court stays Allahabad HC verdict. Appeals against this filed in Supreme Court.
||Supreme Court revives charges against Advani and 13 others.
||Supreme Court dismisses plea for review of 1994 Farooqui judgement but clarifies that it would have no bearing on pending title suits.
||SC turns down appeal for urgent hearing. Hearings to start in January 2019
|4 January 2019
||Date of hearing fixed for 10 January before 5 judge Bench.