Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Tuesday constituted a five-judge bench, comprising Justice SA Bobde, Justice NV Ramana, Justice UU Lalit, Justice DY Chandrachud, to hear the Ayodhya case from January 10. On October 28, the SC had said that the matter will be listed in the first week of January for fixing the date of hearing. A three-judge bench of the top court had on September 27 last year, by 2:1 majority, refused to refer to a five-judge constitution bench the issue of reconsideration of the observations in its 1994 judgment that a mosque was not integral to Islam. The matter had arisen during the hearing of the Ayodhya land dispute.
Various Hindutva organisations have been demanding an ordinance on early construction of Ram temple at the disputed site.
The hearing on Friday assumed importance as Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday had suggested any decision on an ordinance on Ram temple in Ayodhya can happen only after the completion of the judicial process.
Modi's comments had come amidst heightened demands by Hindutava organisations, including the RSS, for an ordinance for an early construction of the temple.