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Supreme Court to deal Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi matter as a “pure land dispute”

The Supreme Court on Thursday said it will deal with the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi matter as a “pure land dispute” and indicated that impleadment applications of those which were not before the High Court would be dealt with later.

A special bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said that it would hear the appeals on March 14 and clarified that it never intended to hear the case on a “day-to-day basis”.

The bench, also comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer asked parties before the Allahabad High Court to file in two weeks English translation of documents exhibited by them.

The top court said the excerpts of vernacular books, which have been relied upon in the case, be translated in English and be filed within two weeks from Thursday.

The apex court also directed its Registry to provide copies of video cassettes, which were part of high court records, to parties on actual cost.

The special bench of the apex court is seized of a total 14 appeals filed against the high court judgement delivered in four civil suits.

The Supreme Court had in December last year rejected the vehement submission of Sunni Waqf Board and others that hearing of appeals in the sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute be conducted in July 2019 after the general elections.

The headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also “prima facie” had declined the demand put by a battery of senior lawyers including Kapil Sibal and Rajeev Dhavan that the appeals be either referred to a five or seven judge bench, keeping in mind the sensitive nature of the case and its ramifications on the country’s secular fabric and polity.

A three-judge bench of the Allahabad High Court, in a 2:1 majority ruling, had in 2010 ordered that the land be partitioned equally among three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

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