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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned the hearing in Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid Title Dispute Till January 29. The development came after Justice UU Lalit recused himself from hearing the case. The matter will now be heard by a new bench.

(Also read: BJP MP Writes to Ayodhya DM, Seeks House For Ram Lalla Under PM Awas Yojana)

In the earlier hearing on January 4, the apex court had said that an ‘appropriate bench’ would give further orders in the case on January 10. Interestingly, none of the advocates appearing for the parties in the case had any idea that a constitution bench would be formed. PTI quoted two senior advocates as saying, “everyone was expecting that a three-judge bench will be constituted”.

While advocate Ezaz Maqbool, who represents first petitioner M Siddiq and some Muslim bodies, was happy with the five-judge bench, a senior advocate, appearing for a Hindu organisation said, “Let us see what happens. I would not like to make any further comment.”

As many as 14 appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgement that the 2.77-acre land be divided equally among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

In October 2018, the apex court had fixed the matter in the first week of January. Then, an application was moved for according an urgent hearing by advancing the date, but the top court had refused to do so, saying it had passed an order on October 29 relating to the hearing of the matter.

The RSS and the Shiv Sena have been demanding an ordinance on early construction of Ram temple at the disputed site. While the Centre refused to get drawn into the debate, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an interview, said that any such decision could only be taken after the judicial process was completed.

“Let the judicial process take its own course. Don’t weigh it in political terms. Let the judicial process be over. After the judicial process is over, whatever be our responsibility as the government, we are ready to make all efforts,” PM Modi had said during an interview.