The Supreme Court will start hearing Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute on December 5, a day before Babri Masjid demolition's 25th anniversary.
The apex court also granted three months time for translation of the historic documents. Earlier, the Shia Central Waqf Board of Uttar Pradesh told the Supreme Court that the translation of historic documents is not complete yet. The top court was informed that there were 523 exhibits in the Allahabad High Court submission. Some of the historic documents are in Sanskrit, Parsi, Urdu, Arabic and other languages.
The petitioners also asked for four more months to translate the texts, angering the Supreme Court which asked what they were doing for seven years. The apex court, however, says it will facilitate the translation and give the petitioners "reasonable time".
The Supreme Court also rejected BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy's plea as a petitioner in the case. Swamy had requested the court for "intervening opportunity" to get heard. The court says it will give him the opportunity after all parties are heard. The High Court order had been challenged by petitioners, including BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, on the grounds that no prayer had been made to divide the land equally.
Constituted by Chief Justice J S Khehar, a three-judge bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer will hear a batch of petitions challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict in the case.
On Thursday, the Uttar Pradesh Shia Wakf Board urged the apex court to mediate in the Ayodhya issue and suggested that a Ram temple be built at the disputed site and a mosque in a nearby Muslim-dominated area. The board, which is not a party to the Ayodhya title suit had lost a case over the disputed structure in 1946. Now it is seeking to reopen the issue, by urging the court to allow it to intervene and present its case in the title suit.
"Since, the Babri Masjid was a Shia Waqf, we are alone entitled to negotiate and arrive at peaceful settlement with other stakeholders," Shia Waqf Board said in its statement.
It may be recalled that the Allahabad High Court had in 2010 directed that the site where the Mosque once stood be split between the Nirmohi Akhara, the Waqf Board and Ram Lalla, who were all claimants.
On July 21, a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar had said that it would soon take a decision to list the matter for early hearing.