SC dismisses all Ayodhya verdict review petitions

PTI file photo

The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a batch of review petitions seeking reconsideration of the November 9 judgement in the Ayodhya case that ruled the long-pending title suit between Hindu and Muslims in favour of 'Ram Lalla' for building a Ram Temple. As per the judgement, a separate five acres of land was to be given to Sunni Central Waqf Board to construct Babri Masjid elsewhere in the district.

A five-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice S A Bobde comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan, S Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna did not find any merit in as many as 18 petitions, which asked the court to reconsider the judgement.

Review petitions were considered by the same combination of judges in chambers through circulations.

Justice Khanna was the new judge to the bench, since then CJI Ranjan Gogoi, who led the five-judge bench had demitted office on November 17.

Now, the parties are left with an option of filing a curative petition, the last legal resort.

President of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, Uttar Pradesh and legal heir of plaintiff M Siddiq, Maulana Syed Ashhad Rashidi was the first to seek a reconsideration of the decision and asked the court to allow the Muslims side to rebuild the Babri Masjid on the site. He said there can be no peace without justice.

The review petition filed by advocate Ejaz Maqbool pointed out the apex court acknowledged several illegalities committed by the Hindu parties, but awarded the disputed site to the very party which based its claims on nothing but a series of illegal acts.

Review petitions were also filed by Maulana Mufti Hasbullah, Mohd Umar, Maulana Mahfoozur Rehman and Mishbahuddin, and Haji Nahboob who were all supported by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board.

Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha also filed a review petition on behalf of Hindus side, saying particularly the direction to grant five-acre of land to Sunni Waqf Board would create “misconception in the mind of the general public” and may “create further complications in future”.

Though not a party to the dispute, 40 eminent citizens including Prabhat Patnaik, Irfan Habib, Harsh Mander, Jayati Ghosh, Nandini Sundar, Shabnam Hashmi, Akar Patel also filed their own petition, saying they were aggrieved by the judgement, containing inherent contradictions and legally deficient and manifestly unjust reasonings.

Shia Central Waqf Board, Samrat Priyadarshi Youth Foundation of India, Indian National League, Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) are among others who filed the review petitions.

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