In 60-Second Hearing, Supreme Court Defers Ayodhya Case To January 10

Ayodhya case: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his New Year interview that the government is waiting for a legal resolution on the issue

Ayodhya case in Supreme Court: Right-wing groups want temple construction through an ordinance


  • Decision on Ayodhya case comes amid demands to hasten building Ram temple
  • Right-wing groups demanded government expedite process through ordinance
  • Supreme Court last year refused an early hearing on the Ayodhya case
New Delhi: In a 60-second hearing today, the Supreme Court deferred the Ayodhya temple-mosque case and said a bench would decide on January 10 when to take up the case. The decision on the title suit, pending for six decades and at the heart of India's most politically divisive row, comes amid demands to speed up the plan to build a Ram temple at the site where the 16th-century Babri mosque stood before it was razed by Hindu activists in 1992. Members of the ruling BJP, some of its allies and right-wing groups want a special government order to enable the start of construction before the general elections are announced. Last year, the top court refused an early hearing.

Following are the top 10 developments in this big story:

  1. The dispute is over 2.7 acres of land on which the Babri Masjid stood before it was demolished on December 6, 1992.

  2. In 2010, the Allahabad High Court accepted that the disputed site was the birthplace of Lord Ram and allotted two-thirds of it to the Hindus. The rest went to the Sunni Central Waqf Board of Uttar Pradesh. Both Hindu and Muslim organisations appealed against it in the Supreme Court, which in 2011, stayed the High Court order.

  3. In October, the Supreme Court rejected the Uttar Pradesh government's appeal for an early hearing of the 14 petitions in the case. "We have our own priorities. Whether hearing would take place in January, March or April would be decided by an appropriate bench," the court said.

  4. Chief Justice Gogoi, who was heading the bench, also clarified the appeals in the Ayodhya case hearing would come up before a bench "not for hearing but for fixing the date of hearing".

  5. The court's refusal for an early hearing pushed right-wing groups and a section of the BJP to demand that the government bypass the legal process and expedite temple construction through an ordinance of executive order.

  6. Despite pressure from right-wing groups and the Shiv Sena, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his New Year interview that the government is waiting for a legal resolution. "Let the judicial process be over. After the judicial process is over, whatever be our responsibility as government, we are ready to make all efforts," PM Modi said. He also accused the Congress of delaying the legal process.

  7. The RSS, the ideological mentor of the BJP, has called for an early decision in the case. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has also called for an early resolution, saying "justice delayed is justice denied".

  8. The Shiv Sena and the right-wing Vishwa Hindu Parishad have been drumming up support for an ordinance, holding rallies and public meetings in Ayodhya and other parts of the country.

  9. In September, the Supreme Court had declined to reconsider its observations in a 1994 judgment that a mosque was not integral to Islam - an issue that came up during the hearing of the Ayodhya land dispute.

  10. The 16th-Century Babri Majid was razed on December 6, 1992, by thousands of right-wing volunteers or Kar Sewaks, who claimed it was built on a temple marking the birthplace of Lord Ram that was destroyed. Around 2,000 people were killed in the riots that followed the demolition.