Bengaluru: As the hearing on the Ayodhya land dispute enters the final week, the Sunni Central Waqf Board sprang a surprise, as it said to the Supreme Court that it possesses the impugned land. 

Rajeev Dhavan, representing the Waqf board told the five-judge constitution bench, "We have been in possession throughout. There is nothing to suggest or show that the plaintiff (Nirmohi Akahara and others) are the proprietor of the disputed land in question."

The counsel further added that there is no proof by the Archaeological Survey of India or the ASI to ascertain that a temple was destroyed to build the mosque at the impugned site.

He said, “They claimed adverse possession since 1934 for which there is no proof." 

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi is hearing appeals challenging the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict which ordered equal division of the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. It might be recalled that the 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.

The top court had recently said that it would wrap up hearing the case on October 17, a day earlier than it was scheduled to, thus leaving merely three days of active hearing now. The judgment on the same will be passed on November 4-5.

There are 14 petitions before the Supreme Court but three are in the main focus - those filed by the Nirmohi Akhara, Ram Lalla Virajman (the presiding infant deity) and the Sunni Waqf Board.