New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the chief justice of the Allahabad high court to appoint two new observers for disputed land in the Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir case within 10 days.

The direction was passed by a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra as the Allahabad high court informed the court that one of the two district judge members serving as observers had retired while the other had been promoted to a higher judicial post.

As observers, the judicial officers are required to ensure that transparency is maintained during excavation at the disputed site, for which they visit the site and file regular status reports. For now, they will have to ensure that status quo on the title of the disputed land is not disturbed.

A civil suit for deciding the title of the property on which the Babri Masjid stood before it was demolished on 6 December 1992, was filed before the Allahabad high court .

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court ruled in September 2010 in favour of partitioning the land equally among three parties—the Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and the ‘Ram Lalla’ (infant Lord Ram), represented by the Hindu Mahasabha. The apex court stayed this decision in 2011.

In May, a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court framed criminal conspiracy charges against senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders for the demolition of the Babri Masjid. The leaders include former deputy prime minister L.K. Advani, Union minister Uma Bharti, and former Union minister Murli Manohar Joshi.

Former Supreme Court chief justice J.S. Khehar had observed that the dispute must be settled amicably through “a cordial meeting" of all parties and offered mediation to help resolve the matter.

The top court is scheduled to begin hearing the main matter on 5 December.