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Ayodhya case hearing postponed

January 11, 2019

After Justice U U Lalit, one of the five judges of the Supreme Court constitution bench hearing the Ayodhya case said he wanted to opt out due to conflict of interest, the court has decided to hear the case on 29 January.

Justice Lalit made the offer after a lawyer said he had represented one of the parties nearly 20 years ago. Now a new bench will be constituted before the next hearing.

The lawyer who pointed this out was Rajeev Dhawan who said Justice Lalit had appeared for politician Kalyan Singh in a matter in 1997.

The Ayodhya case is pending before the court since 2010 when 14 cross-appeals were filed against the Allahabad High Court's judgement dividing the land equally among the three parties - the Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara, a Hindu religious group and the Hindu Mahasabha.

Many groups linked to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party have been demanding for a law or executive order to facilitate the building of a Ram temple at the disputed site. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said his government would wait for the courts to rule on the case.

Let the judicial process be over. After the judicial process is over, whatever will be our responsibility as the government, we are ready to make all efforts... We have said in our BJP manifesto that a solution would be found to this issue under the ambit of the Constitution. - Prime Minister Narendra Modi

All parties in the case have welcomed the setting up of the new and larger bench. An early hearing is good news for the BJP, politically. The party has made Ayodhya a showcase when it comes to development and tourism. There is a plan to build the world's largest Ram statue here, moves that the party hopes will attract votes in the elections.

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