The Supreme Court Friday said the further orders on the appeals in the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit will be announced by an appropriate bench on January 10. A division bench comprising of CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul announced the date in a 30-second hearing.
No sooner the matter came up, the CJI said it is the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case and went ahead with passing the order, PTI reported. Senior advocates Harish Salve and Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for different parties, did not get the opportunity to make any submission. The bench also dismissed another petition seeking an urgent hearing in the case.
Appeals against the September 30, 2010 decision of the Allahabad High Court — which accepted that the disputed site was birthplace of Lord Ram and ordered a three-way division of the disputed 2.77 acres, giving a third each to the Nirmohi Akhara sect, the Sunni Central Wakf Board, UP, and Ramlalla Virajman — have been pending since December of that year.
On October 29 last year, the bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and K M Joseph had refused to grant the Uttar Pradesh government counsel’s request for urgent hearing of the appeals in the case. The bench had ordered that the appeals be listed in the first week of January before an “appropriate bench” which it said would decide the date of hearing.
Right-wing organisations, including the RSS, have been pressing for an early decision on the dispute. After the court refused an early hearing of the 14 petitions in the case, demands seeking an ordinance for construction of a Ram temple gained moment.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an interview recently to ANI said, “The matter is before the judiciary, let it be completed and once it comes from the judiciary, wherever the responsibility of a government begins, we are ready to make all efforts.” He also suggested that “those sitting in governments in 70 years since Independence’ tried to stall the solution and slowed the judicial process by creating “obstructions.”
Hearing on the appeals, which were filed in 2010 after the Allahabad High Court order, were delayed for various reasons. Though it came up for consideration in 2017, headway could not be made as the documents had not been fully translated, and later one of the parties questioned the 1994 findings of a Constitution Bench in the Dr M Ismail Faruqui etc vs Union Of India and Others case.
In 2018, the Supreme Court had refused to reconsider its observations in a 1994 judgment that a mosque was not integral to Islam – an issue that came up during the hearing of the Ayodhya land dispute. The judges said, “We again make it clear that questionable observations made in Ismail Faruqui’s case were made in the context of land acquisition and that those observations were neither relevant for deciding the suits nor relevant for deciding these appeals.”
Ayodhya land dispute: VHP asks Centre to bring legislation
A legislation by Parliament is an expeditious way of resolving the dispute, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) reiterated, after the Supreme Court said an appropriate bench constituted by it will pass an order on January 10 for fixing the date of hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute title case. VHP working president Alok Kumar asked the Centre to bring a legislation before the end of its term.
(With inputs from Ananthakrishnan G)