Amid the Ayodhya land dispute mediation panel proceedings in the Supreme Court to be held on July 31, the top court has extended the tenure of Special Judge SP Yadav to complete the trial in Babri Masjid demolition case against LK Advani, Kalyan Singh, and others in a time-bound manner.

Under article 142, the SC has used its jurisdiction to give an extension to the judge and has directed the Uttar Pradesh government and the Allahabad High Court to pass the order to the effect within four weeks.

In its order, the SC ruled that Judge Yadav has claimed to have substantial progress in the case and, hence sought an extension to complete the trial.

Besides the extension of tenure of Judge Yadav, the apex court has also set a deadline of nine months to complete the trial saying the examination of all evidence, as well as prosecution and defence witnesses, must be completed within six months from today (Friday, July 19, 2019). The court said the oral arguments should be kept to the minimum and all parties should file written arguments.

Justice Nariman ruled that the judgment in the case should be delivered within a maximum of nine months from today. Earlier, the UP government had clarified that they had no objection extending tenure of judge SP Yadav to complete Babri Masjid trial.

In March this year, the Supreme Court had constituted a three-member committee or mediation panel comprising SC judge Fakkir Mohammad Ibrahim Kalifulla, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior Madras High Court advocate Sriram Panchu to settle the land dispute case.

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Himakshi Panwar