New Bench To Be Constituted
New Delhi: Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned the Ayodhya land dispute matter to January 29, after one of the five-judges in the Constitution bench, Justice U U Lalit recused himself from hearing the case.
'A new bench will be constituted. We defer the case to January 29, for further hearing in the matter," Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi said. Ahead of today's crucial hearing in the Ram Mandir dispute case, the Supreme court virtually turned into a fortress with heavy security personnel present inside and outside the court premises. The Apex Court said today, the Ayodhya matter was listed for working out a hearing schedule and not for hearing to commence.
CJI said, if Justice Lalit was not to take part further, then the hearing needs to be postponed.
Rajeev Dhavan, one of the lawyers appearing for a Muslim party, pointed out that Justice Lalit had appeared in the Ayodhya criminal case in 1997, so he can not be a part of this Constitution bench. "My lord , Justice Lalit had once appeared in the Ayodhya criminal case in 1997, so he should not be a part of this bench," Dhawan argued before the five-judge Constitution bench of the Apex Court
When Dhawan, counsel for Muslim parties said he will start arguments, CJI asked - "start what? Today it is not listed for hearing. We will work out a schedule." Justice U U Lalit, when he was a lawyer had appeared for a party in the criminal case relating to demolition of Babri Masjid. CJI said all brother judges are of opinion that it would not be appropriate for him to take part in the hearing of Ayodhya land dispute. ' Since Justice Lalit does not want to take part in any further, the case hearing stands adjourned to January 29 when the five-judge bench will be reconstituted by substituting Justice Lalit with another SC judge,' CJI maintained. UNI