Ayodhya case: SC sets deadline, says arguments must be finished by 18 Oct

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today set a deadline for all parties to complete their final arguments in the Ayodhya land dispute case. The court has asked all stakeholders to finish the arguments by 18 October.

This came after all sides submitted their schedule of presenting their arguments on the 26th day of the day-to-day hearing of the Ayodhya land dispute case.

“Let us make a joint effort to conclude the same by 18 October,” said Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, adding that if necessary, the court could even hear the case for one extra hour, or on Saturdays.

All petitioners had been asked yesterday to submit a schedule for their arguments. The court, after going through their skeds, held out the hope that the arguments could be completed by 18 October.

After a submission of tentative schedule by both Senior Advocates CS Vaidyanathan and Rajeev Dhavan, CJI Ranjan Gogoi said that hearing of the arguments would be completed by 18 October.

He also added that the court may extend the hearing by one hour and also sit on Saturdays if required and finish the hearings. The court also made it clear that the Ayodhya proceedings will still remain confidential.

The Supreme Court today said that if parties to the Ram-Janmabhoomi Babri Masjid land dispute case want to amicably resolve the matter through mediation, they can still go ahead with it.

The five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it has received a letter from former Supreme Court judge F M I Kalifulla, who was heading the three-member mediation panel, saying some parties have written to him for resumption of the mediation process.

The bench said the day-to-day proceedings in the land dispute case have reached ‘an advanced stage’ and will continue. The court, however, said the mediation process under the chairmanship of Justice Kalifullah can still continue and proceedings before it will remain confidential.

Speaking on a letter submitted by the Justice Kalifullah-led mediation panel, the court said, “If parties desire to settle the matter, including by resorting to mediation panel, they may do so and place the settlement before the court.

With inputs from PTI

NT Bureau