The Supreme Court on Thursday fixed January 29 as the next date of hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute matter after Justice UU Lalit recused himself from the case.
A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, and comprising of Justice SA Bobde, Justice NV Ramana, Justice UU Lalit and Justice DY Chandrachud, said that there will be no hearing in the case on Thursday adding that only date and schedule will be decided.
Justice UU Lalit recused himself from hearing the case after advocate Rajeev Dhavan pointed out that Justice Lalit had appeared for Kalyan Singh government in 1997 related to the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute.
While telling the bench that personally he had no objection to the presence of Justice Lalit on the bench hearing the challenge to the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict, he was just bringing the issue to the notice of the court.
Thereafter Justice Lalit conveyed to Chief Justice Gogoi and other members of the bench his reluctance to continue on the bench and recused himself. Chief Justice Gogoi in his order said that under the Supreme Court rules in exercise of his administrative powers, it was his perogative to decide the strength of the bench.
The court thereafter directed its registry to go through all the records relating to the Ayodhya case which are available with it and submit a report by January 29 as to how much time it would require for translating the documents and the case material which are in Persian, Arabic, Urdu and Gurmukhi languages.
Having directed the secretary general of the Supreme Court to submit the report in 15 days the court directed that the reconstituted bench will hold the hearing on January 29.