The 1992 land dispute Ayodhya case was heard by the Supreme Court two-justice bench led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi today. During the less than 60 seconds long hearing, the court said that it will pass the order for fixing the date of hearing of the case on January 10th.

The sensitive dispute over 2.7 acres of land in Ayodhya, where the Babri Masjid stood before it was demolished on December 6, 1992 has been pushed aside by every government since two decades for a reason – the insolvable nature of the case. Titled as the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute, or more commonly called the Ayodhya case, it has seen a lot of twists and turns. However, apart from the Supreme Court’s stay on Allahabad High Court’s division of the land, there has been no major development in the case since 2010.

In October, the Uttar Pradesh government had appealed the apex court to conduct urgent procurement and hearing in the land case – which was ultimately rejected by the court citing that “they have their own priorities” and the final date of hearing could be in “January, March or April” as decided by an appropriate bench. Later in December, the court had fixed January 4th (today) to be the date for fixing the date of hearing in the Ayodhya case and a two judged bench led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi was set for the day-to-day hearing.

Today, the court room was jam-packed by lawyers and journalists in anticipation of some orders in the Supreme Court’s hearing. Senior advocates of both the parties – Harish Salve and Rajeev Dhavan had prepared for making submissions and statements in the case. However, within 15 seconds of the hearing, the court bench ruled out a statement that “further orders will be passed by appropriate bench on January 10” – not giving a chance to lawyers for any submissions. CJI Gogoi also clarified that a three-judge bench will “not be for hearing the case, but for fixing the date of hearing” – ending the hearing in less than 60 seconds.

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