SC final hearing in Babri title dispute from Dec 5

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The Supreme Court bench, which heard the matter today, said the next set of hearing would be delayed as it is providing a three-month period to the Uttar Pradesh government for translating historical documents and oral evidences pertaining to the case. "We can't wait for translations", the bench said.

The bench, which also comprised Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer, fixed the date after Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Uttar Pradesh, and the state's Advocate General Raghavendra Singh agreed to get almost 90,000 pages of oral evidence translated so as to expedite the hearing.

The Supreme Court will start final hearing on 5 December to adjudicate the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute.

Counsel representing the Sunni Central Waqf Board and Nirmohi Akhara wanted the hearing to commence in January 2018 contending they needed more time to prepare their respective case.

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The court also said that time frame fixed by it for completion of the pleadings is final and no adjournment will be granted.

Mr Sibal brought to the notice of the bench that there are voluminous records, scripts and documents in seven languages, Sanskrit, Pali, Hindi, Persian, Arabic, Punjabi and Urdu which are to be translated to English. "Babur might have ordered Baqi to build mosque but it was Baqi who chose the site and having demolished the temple got the mosque built", the plea said.

There were near acrimonious scenes during the hearing as several advocates attempted to speak simultaneously and commented on each other. The petitioners argued against high court judgement conceding the disputed land to be the birthplace of Lord Ram. The Sunni board is clearly unhappy with these new developments. It also supported construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site where a makeshift temple exits at present. The Shia board came into the picture in 1989 when it was impleaded as a party to the case by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

Interestingly, the Special Leave Petition - which challenged a 1946 decision of the Faizabad Civil Court - said the Babri Masjid demolished by Hindu Karsevaks in 1992 was built by demolishing a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. However, the CJI had later withdrawn his offer.

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