SC rejects 20 applications for intervention in Ayodhya case

SC rejects 20 applications for intervention in Ayodhya case

SC rejects 20 applications for intervention in Ayodhya case

The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected more than 20 applications from various sections of people, including filmmaker Shyam Benegal and activist Teesta Setalvad, to intervene in the Babri Masjid Ram Janmabhoomi dispute.

The court also declined to consider a plea for settlement of the issue as both Muslims and Hindus claimed title over 2.77 acres of disputed land at Ayodhya.

"We are not permitting any intervention. Earlier also we said no intervention would be allowed," a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer said.

Uttar Pradesh government counsel and Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and counsels reprensenting the original parties to the suit, also submitted no intervention application should be allowed.

"We are of the considered opinion that these interlocutory applications do not merit any consideration and they are accordingly rejected. We further direct the Registry not to entertain any interlocutory applications," the bench said.

The court, however, revived a writ petition filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy as he contended he had in 2016 withdrawn it only after the then bench allowed him to make an intervention application. "My right to worship is placed on higher pedestal than the right to property of the other parties," he contended, adding the matter came up for hearing only on his plea. The court said his writ petition would be dealt by an appropriate bench.

Counsel for an intervenor contended that a compromise formula signed by 10,523 people from Faizabad district has been worked out and the court should consider it.

World peace centre

Senior advocate Salman Khurshid, also appearing for an intervenor, contended the circumstances under which the matter was being heard was unusual. Former Cabinet Minister Arif Mohammad Khan submitted, a world peace centre should be established at the disputed site as 'Sri Ram Complex', where people from all religions can come and discuss spiritual issues.

He relied upon the suggestion once made by then CJI Justice J S Khehar for an amicable settlement.

"Without your intervention application also, you can make efforts. We can't allow it. We don't know what had then transpired but we don't find anything of that sort in records (on then CJI's suggestion). We are not saying anything. We can't say no to settlement," the bench said.