Ayodhya: SC to decide course of hearing on Monday

Last Updated 27 October 2018, 12:56 IST

The vexed Ayodhya dispute matter related to Babri Masjid and Ram temple has been posted before the Supreme Court's new bench led by Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi on Monday.

The bench, also comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph, would take a call on future course of hearing in the case arising out of civil appeals against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgement, that favoured for dividing the land in question in three parts.

"The matter is put for directions only. The bench may pass orders for listing before an appropriate regular bench for consideration. The same bench may decide to hear the case on a future date," Ejaz Maqbool, a counsel, representing the Muslims side, said.

Notably, the top court had on September 27 declined to set up a larger bench for reconsidering its 1994 verdict which held a "mosque is not an essential part of the practice of Islam". The Muslims side had vehemently contended if the 1994 verdict was not reviewed, it would have an adverse effect on their plea in adjudication of the present case.

A three-judge bench presided over by then CJI Dipak Misra by a majority view of 2:1 had held that the questionable observations made in the 1994 Ismail Faruqui's case were made in context of land acquisition.

Those observations were neither relevant for deciding the suits nor relevant for deciding these appeals, Justice Ashok Bhushan, who authored the majority judgement for himself and the CJI, stated.

A third judge, Justice S Abdul Nazeer, however, dissented and said the questionable observation of 1994 verdict had permeated into the Allahabad High Court's decision in the land dispute case and must be reconsidered.

The question whether mosque was essential part of the religion cannot be decided without a "detailed examination of the beliefs, tenets and practice of the faith" and favoured reconsideration of the issue to a larger bench.

The issue whether mosque is integral to Islam was raised by the Muslims side when the three-judge bench was hearing the batch of appeals filed against the Allahabad High Court's 2010.

It was then opposed by Hindu sides, as well as the Uttar Pradesh government. They contended that the plea was raised belatedly with a purpose to delay determination of the civil suit.

The Allahanad High Court's three-judge bench, in a 2:1 majority ruling, had ordered that the 2.77 acres of land be partitioned equally among three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

(Published 27 October 2018, 10:24 IST)

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