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Ayodhya case: 1528 to 2019, a timeline

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New Delhi, Oct 16: Following is the chronology of events in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case.

Ayodhya case: 1528 to 2019, a timeline
  • 1528: Babri Masjid built by Mir Baqi, commander of Mughal emperor Babur.
  • 1885: Mahant Raghubir Das files plea in Faizabad district court seeking permission to build a canopy outside the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid structure. Court rejects plea.
  • 1949: Idols of Ram Lalla placed under a central dome outside the disputed structure.
  • 1950: Gopal Simla Visharad files suit in Faizabad district court for rights to worship the idols of Ram Lalla.
  • 1950: Paramahansa Ramachandra Das files suit for the continuation of worship and keeping the idols.
  • 1959: Nirmohi Akhara files suit seeking possession of the site.
  • 1981: UP Sunni Central Waqf Board files suit for possession of the site.
  • Feb 1, 1986: Local court orders the government to open the site for Hindu worshippers.
  • Aug 14, 1989: Allahabad HC ordered maintenance of status quo in respect of the disputed structure.
  • Dec 6, 1992: Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid structure demolished.
  • Apr 3, 1993: 'Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act' passed for the acquisition of land by Centre in the disputed area.
  • 1993: Various writ petitions, including one by Ismail Faruqui, filed at Allahabad HC challenging various aspects of the Act.
  • Oct 24, 1994: SC says in the historic Ismail Faruqui case that a mosque was not integral to Islam.
  • Apr 2002: HC begins hearings on determining who owns the disputed site.
  • Mar 13, 2003: SC says, in the Aslam alias Bhure case, no religious activity of any nature is allowed at the acquired land.
  • Mar 14: SC says interim order passed should be operative till disposal of the civil suits in Allahabad HC to maintain communal harmony.
  • Sep 30, 2010: HC, in a 2:1 majority, rules three-way division of disputed area between Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
  • May 9, 2011: SC stays HC verdict on Ayodhya land dispute.
  • Feb 26, 2016: Subramanian Swamy files plea in SC seeking construction of Ram Temple at the disputed site.
  • Mar 21, 2017: CJI JS Khehar suggests out-of-court settlement among rival parties.
  • Aug 7: SC constitutes a three-judge bench to hear pleas challenging the 1994 verdict of the Allahabad HC.
  • Aug 8: UP Shia Central Waqf Board tells SC mosque could be built in a Muslim-dominated area at a reasonable distance from the disputed site.
  • Sep 11: SC directs Chief Justice of the Allahabad HC to nominate two additional district judges within ten days as observers to deal with the upkeep of the disputed site.
  • Nov 20: UP Shia Central Waqf Board tells SC temple can be built in Ayodhya and mosque in Lucknow.
  • Dec 1: Thirty-two civil rights activists file a plea challenging the 2010 verdict of the Allahabad HC.
  • Feb 8, 2018: SC starts hearing civil appeals.
  • Mar 14: SC rejects all interim pleas, including Swamy's, seeking to intervene as parties in the case.
  • Apr 6: Rajeev Dhavan files plea in SC to refer the issue of reconsideration of the observations in its 1994 judgement to a larger bench.
  • Jul 6: UP government tells SC some Muslim groups were trying to delay the hearing by seeking reconsideration of an observation in the 1994 verdict.
  • Jul 20: SC reserves verdict.
  • Sep 27: SC declines to refer the case to a five-judge Constitution bench. Case to be heard by a newly constituted three-judge bench on October 29.
  • October 29: Supreme Court fixes the case for the first week of January before an appropriate bench, which will decide the schedule of hearing.
  • November 12: Supreme Court declines early hearing of petitions in the case requested by Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha.
  • November 22: Supreme Court dismisses PIL seeking direction to organisations and public at large to "behave" and not air their views that can spoil the atmosphere until it decides the title dispute case.
  • December 24: Supreme Court decides to take up petitions on the case for hearing on January 4.
  • January 4, 2019: Supreme Court says an appropriate bench constituted by it will pass an order on January 10 for fixing the date of hearing in the title case.
  • January 8: Supreme Court sets up a five-judge Constitution Bench to hear the case headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices SA Bobde, NV Ramana, UU Lalit and DY Chandrachud.
  • January 10: Justice U U Lalit recuses himself prompting Supreme Court to reschedule the hearing for January 29 before a new bench.
  • January 25: Supreme Court reconstitutes 5-member Constitution Bench to hear the case. The new bench comprises Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer.
  • January 27: Supreme Court cancels the January 29 hearing due to non-availability of Justice SA Bobde.
  • January 29: Centre moves Supreme Court seeking permission to return the 67-acre acquired land around the disputed site to original owners.
  • February 20: Supreme Court decides to hear the case on February 26.
  • February 26: Supreme Court favours mediation, fixes March 5 for order on whether to refer the matter to a court-appointed mediator.
  • March 6: Supreme Court reserves order on whether the land dispute can be settled through mediation.
  • March 8: Supreme Court refers the dispute for mediation by a panel headed by former Supreme Court judge F M I Kallifulla.
  • May 10: Mediation team submits the final report to Supreme Court.
  • August 5 2019: SC grants mediators more time
  • August 6 2019: SC begins day to day hearing
  • October 2019: SC says it wants to wind up hearing by October 18
  • October 15: CJI says will try and conclude hearing by October 16

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