On March 14, 2018, the final hearings began in the Ayodhya dispute before the Supreme Court bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra as well as Justices Abdul Nazeer and Ashok Bhushan.
The bench on Wednesday accepted the request of Advocate Ejaz Maqbool, appearing on behalf of petitioners, and dismissed all third party intervention applications and directed the registry to refuse any further intervention in the matter. It was held that only parties to the suit are to make their submissions before the bench.
Though the bench dismissed the intervention application filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, they agreed to revive his writ petition seeking his fundamental right to pray at Ayodhya for posting before the appropriate Bench.
Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan began his arguments on behalf of petitioners. It was submitted on behalf of the petitioners that five-judge bench decision in Dr M Ismail Faruqui & Ors v. Union of India was to be reconsidered in so far as it declared that a mosque was not an essential part of the practice of the religion of Islam.
In a favourable order passed, the bench agreed to hear Rajeev Dhawan on whether the matter required reconsideration by a larger bench of five-judges.
The matter will continue on March 23rd at 2 p.m.
In September, 2010, the Allahabad High Court awarded two-thirds of the Ayodhya site to Hindu parties, and one-third to the Waqf Board. However, in May, 2011, the Allahabad High Court verdict was stayed by the Supreme Court, directing status quo to be maintained. The oldest litigant in this case passed away in December, 2014.
In March, 2017, a Supreme Court bench comprising of Justices P.C. Ghose and Rohinton Nariman posted for detailed hearing a CBI appeal against the dropping of charges for criminal conspiracy against L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi. While these proceedings are still pending, the Supreme Court is currently hearing the appeal against the judgment of the Allahabad HC. (Read our article on the issue here.)
Read the order here.