Ayodhya Case: SC Says Hearing Likely To End By Oct 18

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday 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 October 18
The Ayodhya Bench in the Supreme Court is headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, who retires on November 17. If the judgment is not delivered before his retirement, the entire matter would have to be heard afresh.
On Wednesday, the CJI, after consulting the lawyers from both the sides, said he is hopeful that arguments can conclude by October 18.
CJI Ranjan Gogoi said, “Let us all make a combined effort to conclude the hearing by October 18.” 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 timeline comes a day after the Constitution Bench had sought to know from all parties in the case about a tentative time frame for completing their arguments.
Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who has been leading the submissions on behalf of the Muslim side, said they would complete the arguments by the end of next week and will then take a day or two to argue their own civil suit.
From the Hindu side, Ram Lalla Virajman’s lawyers said they will take two days while other parties this side said a couple of days more should be enough to complete their arguments.
About a letter written by the mediation panel to the Bench, the court said parties are free to resort to settlement and if any settlement can be reached, it can be placed before it.
The panel had written to the Bench after the UP Sunni Waqf Board chairman wrote to the panel for resumption of mediation to give it one more shot. However, the Bench made it clear that the entire settlement proceedings will remain confidential as before.