New Delhi: The Supreme Court is scheduled to take up a batch of petitions in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case for hearing on January 4. The matter is listed before a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul.

The top court had in October declined an urgent hearing of the Ayodhya land dispute case and had fixed the politically sensitive issue for first week of January before an “appropriate bench” and left a decision on the timeline to it.

Later, an application was moved for according an urgent hearing by advancing the date, but the top court had refused the plea, saying it had already passed an order on October 29 relating to the hearing on the matter.

The plea for early hearing was moved by the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) which is one of the respondents in the appeal filed by legal heirs of M Siddiq, one of the original litigants in the case.

The order by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi triggered a chorus of demands from within the BJP and various Sangh Parivar outfits that the Centre bring an Ordinance or legislation in the Winter session of Parliament for early construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls without waiting for the apex court verdict.

However, Congress and Muslim groups wanted all stakeholders to wait for the verdict.

As many as 14 appeals have been filed against the high court judgement, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land be partitioned equally among three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

Amid the clamour for an ordinance or alternatively bringing in a legislation in the Winter session of Parliament, the Congress called for restraint and awaiting the Supreme Court verdict without linking the issue to “votebank politics”. The winter session is likely begin in the first half of December.

On the other hand, the Centre said it had full faith in the judiciary and fully respects it.

Outlining the government’s stand, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, at the same time, said a lot people in the country want the case to be heard quickly.