5-judge Supreme Court bench to hear Ayodhya case on January 10

File photo of the Supreme Court of India. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 08, 2019, 05.28 PM (IST)

The Supreme Court has set up a five-judge constitution bench to hear the Ayodhya case. 

The bench will be headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and will include Justice SA Bobde, Justice NV Ramana, Justice UU Lalit, Justice DY Chandrachud. 

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The Ayodhya dispute is over 2.77 acres of land over which the Babri Masjid used to stand before it was demolished on December 6, 1992. It is also the most divisive in the country. 

On Friday, the court had said — in a hearing that lasted all of 60 seconds — that further orders in the matter would be passed on January 10 by "the appropriate bench, as may be constituted".

In 2010, the Allahabad High Court had accepted that the disputed site was the birthplace of Lord Ram and had given two-thirds of it to the Hindus. The rest of the site was given to the Sunni Waqf Board. 

The order was appealed by both Hindu and Muslim groups in the Supreme Court — as many as 14 appeals were filed — which stayed the order in 2011. 

With the general elections fast approaching (they have to be held before May) the dispute, one of the country's oldest, has once again begun to take centre stage. 

Right-wing Hindu groups have recently been calling for an ordinance saying that a temple will be built on the disputed site. Prime Minister Narendra Modi however said recently in an interview to ANI that any decision on an ordinance would be taken only after the Supreme Court had finished hearing the matter.  

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The bench will be headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and will include Justice SA Bobde, Justice NV Ramana, Justice UU Lalit, and Justice DY Chandrachud.