Ayodhya hearing delayed again: Justice Lalit recuses, new bench to meet on January 29

The Financial Express

Hearing of appeals in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case failed to start Thursday and the Supreme Court adjourned the matter until January 29 after Justice U U Lalit, one of the five judges on the designated Constitution Bench, recused himself since he had appeared as a lawyer in an Ayodhya related matter in the past. A reconstituted bench will now take up the appeals challenging the September 30, 2010 verdict of the Allahabad High Court on January 29 to fix the schedule for hearing. The High Court had ordered a three-way division of the disputed 2.77 acres site between the Nirmohi Akhara sect, the Sunni Central Wakf Board, Uttar Pradesh and Ramlalla Virajman. Justice Lalit decided to recuse after senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, representing one of the parties in appeal, pointed out that the judge had appeared as a counsel for BJP leader Kalyan Singh, who was Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh when the Babri Masjid was demolished, in a contempt matter related to the demolition in 1997.