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A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Deepak Misra and comprising of judges Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, will be hearing the Ram Mandir dispute in the Supreme Court today.

They are expected to decide if the case needs to be transferred to a larger bench, after hearing arguments from disputed parties. The apex court is hearing 13 appeals filed against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict.

In the hearings that have transpired until now, the Supreme Court has dismissed about 32 intervention petitions by eminent people such as Teesta Setalvad, Shyam Benegal, Aparna Sen and Anil Dharkar. The top court also dismissed BJP MP Subramanian Swamy’s petition that argued for the fundamental right to worship Lord Ram. By doing so, the SC restricted from hearing the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The SC had started the final hearing on the Ram Mandir dispute in December last year. During the hearing, Kapil Sibal, representing one of the petitioners, had requested the court to defer the hearing until after 2019 Lok Sabha elections, saying that there will be “serious repercussions” outside of court every time the matter is heard.

He also sought that a seven-judge bench hear the matter. Both these requests were turned down by the court last year. Sibal also told the court that all the documents that were presented  before the Allahabad Court in 2010 have not been brought before the apex court, adding that the report of the Archaeological Survey of India on Babri Masjid was also missing.

Sibal’s request had garnered much flak from the BJP which accused him of being a Congress mouth piece in the Supreme Court. Even Prime Minister Modi attacked Sibal during one of his campaigns in Gujarat, saying, “How is the case connected to the Lok Sabha elections?” BJP Supremo Amit Shah urged the Congress to clear their stance on the Ram Mandir issue.

Last modified on Saturday, 28 April 2018