File photo: Supreme Court of India. Photograph:( ANI )
Hearings in the politically sensitive case have been continuing since August 6 when the mediation process failed to yield any result.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its judgment on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case after hearing arguments from all the concerned parties.
The top court has been hearing the case for the past thirty-nine days, with today marking the fortieth day of the hearing.
On the final day of the hearing, the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who heads the five-judge bench hearing the case, had allocated initial 45 minutes to Hindu parties followed by one hour to Muslim side, and then four slots of 45 minute each to assorted parties involved in the matter.
It is expected and very likely that the judgement would be pronounced by the top court between November 4-17, as the CJI is going to retire on November 17.
While talking to media, Varun Sinha, Hindu Mahasabha's lawyer said, "Supreme Court has reserved the order and has made it clear that the decision will come, in this case, within 23 days."
As the proceedings today concludes in the case after 40 days, it turned out to be the second-longest /lengthiest hearing ever in the history of the Supreme Court, after the Kesavananda Bharati case, which went on for 68 days, while the third one was a batch of petitions challenging the Constitutional validity of Aadhaar case, which was heard for 38 days.
The four other judges, in the five-judge Constitution bench which heard the case, were - Justices Sharad Arvind Bobde, Ashok Bhushan, D Y Chandrachud and S Abdul Nazeer.
The apex court was hearing the case from August 6 this year, on a day-to-day basis (five days a week) after the mediation process, conducted by a three-member Mediation panel, headed by Justice (Retired) FMI Kalifullah, in the case failed.
Supreme Court is hearing a batch of petitions challenging September 30, 2010, Allahabad High Court judgement trifurcating the 2.77 acres of the disputed land at Ayodhya into three equal parts to Ram Lalla, Sunni Waqf Board and Nirmohi Akhara. These three parties — Ram Lalla, Sunni Waqf Board and Nirmohi Akhara — however, knocked the doors of the apex court challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict and sought a modification of the High Court judgement.
(With inputs from agencies)