Ravi Shankar demands 'expeditious decision' on Ayodhya

Ravi Shankar demands 'expeditious decision' on Ayodhya

Union Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

As pressure mounted on the BJP with the Supreme Court cancelling the January 29 hearing on Ram Temple case due to unavailability of a judge, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday flagged the delay, juxtaposing it with expeditious decisions in cases related to Sabarimala and 'urban Naxals'.

Speaking to reporters in his home state Bihar, Prasad, who was the counsel for one of the petitioners in the high court in the past, said, “The Supreme Court has in many cases it deems important come up with expeditious decisions. It was seen in the case of Sabarimala, adultery, urban Naxals and Karnataka (late-night intervention in political turmoil). I would urge the apex court to do something similar for Ayodhya.”

He clarified that he was saying this “as a citizen of this country and not as the law minister”, as the Ram Temple matter has been pending for 70 years.

“It took 60 years for the Allahabad High Court to come out with its verdict on the title suit and the appeal against the same has been pending before the Supreme Court for 10 years," Prasad said on a day when a 'Paramdharm Sansad' of religious leaders, saints and seers organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad at the ongoing 'Kumbh' festival at Prayagraj slammed the BJP for "inaction" over temple construction at Ayodhya.

The religious parliament, in which around one hundred saints and seers from different corners of the world took part, also adopted a resolution condemning the BJP government at the Centre for its "failure" on the Ram Temple issue.

In Uttar Pradesh's capital Lucknow, Shrikant Sharma, a minister in the Yogi Adityanath government, said people who trust the judicial system are hurt with the delay in the hearing of Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute case. Yogi himself has expressed dissatisfaction with the tardy pace at which the matter was being dealt with at the Supreme Court.

On Sunday, BJP national secretary Sunil Deodhar said in UP that the government will take the legislative route to build a grand temple of Lord Ram in Ayodhya if the verdict of the Supreme Court was not in favour.

NDA allies JD(U) and LJP have categorically disapproved of any plan to bring an ordinance to construct the temple, favouring a resolution of the matter through the Supreme Court. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, some time ago, made it clear that the government would like the process from the court to play out completely.

A top BJP functionary, speaking on condition of anonymity in Delhi last week, made it cleat that while the BJP was “committed to building Ram Temple at the disputed site” it will not take any measure which may be struck down by the court.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board has already made it clear that if the government brought in the ordinance, it will approach the Supreme Court.

In the run-up to Lok Sabha polls, the VHP and the RSS have upped the ante on the temple issue with a top RSS functionary sarcastically saying the Ram Temple would be completed in 2025, a remark which was later clarified by the organisation.