January 29 hearing of Ayodhya dispute in Supreme Court cancelled due to non-availability of Justice S A Bobde

Earlier the hearing on January 10 was adjourned due to recusal by Justice U U Lalit

The hearing for the Ayodhya dispute, which was scheduled to be taken up by the constitutional bench on Tuesday, has been postponed. A notification issued by the registrar of the Supreme Court says that due no non-availability of Justice S A Bobde on 29th January, the hearing has been cancelled.

Justice S A Bobde is part of the 5-judge constitutional bench constituted by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi. The bench was formed on January 25, which is headed by Gogoi, and the other three judges are Justices D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer.

This is the second the time hearing in the long-delayed case has been postponed in this month. On January 8, CJI Ranjan Gogoi had formed the 5-judge bench for the case which included Justices S A Bobde, N V Ramana, U U Lalit and D Y Chandrachud apart from the CJI. But when the hearing started before the bench on January 10, Justice UU Lalit recused himself from the case. He had done so because advocate Rajiv Dhawan, who represents the Muslim side in the case, pointed it out that Justice Lalit had represented former UP CM Kalyan Singh, in a contempt of court case twenty-four years ago. Although that case was not directly linked to the Ayodhya case, Justice Lalit had decided to recuse himself. Therefore, the hearing was adjourned till January 29.

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In the meanwhile, Justice N V Ramana had also withdrew from the case citing personal reasons. Ahead of the scheduled hearing, the CJI had reconstituted the bench on 25th, including Justices Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer in the bench to fill the two vacancies.

But the hearing has been cancelled again due to the non-availability of one of the judges. The organisations wanting a Ram Mandir at the disputed site are demanding an early resolution of the case, as the case is already delayed by several decades. Due to delay at the Court, many people are also demanding that the government should bring a law or ordinance to make way for building the Ram Mandir. After today’s delay, such demands are set to intensify.


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