#AyodhyaCase postponed: SC to set the date of hearing in #RamjanambhoomiBabriMasjid title suit in January 2019

The Supreme Court of India has postponed the hearing on petitions challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict in the Ramjanambhoomi-Babri Masjid site title dispute to January next year, as the apex court will fix the date for commencing hearing then. A batch of petitions are pending before the apex court challenging the Allahabad High Court’s 2010 judgement that split into three parts the disputed land on the Ramjanambhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh. It goes without saying that the ruling BJP dispensation is not happy with the adjournment of the hearing by the Supreme Court. The BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister of UP, Keshav Prasad Maurya was quoted as saying by the IE report, “I don’t want to comment since it is the deccision of the Supreme Court. However, the postponement of hearing doesn’t send a good message.”

Congress charge BJP of polarising views

Meanwhile, the Congress leader P Chidambaram accused the BJP of “polarising views” on Ayodhya issue before elections. “Congress party’s position is that the matter is before SC,everyone should wait until SC decides. I don’t think we should jump the gun,” he added. VHP working president Alok Kumar said the organisation will not wait “eternally” for the verdict and wants a law to build Ram Temple in Ayodhya, noted the report.

The petitioners had claimed that the earlier decisions in the Ayodhya case were influenced by this statement in the Ismail Faruqui verdict which came on a plea challenging the Constitutional validity of the Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act-1993, under which 67.703 acres were acquired in Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid complex, according to the report.

Turning down the plea, CJI Misra and Justice Ashok Bhushan in their majority verdict said that “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”. The judges opined that “the observation need not be read broadly to hold that a mosque can never be an essential part of the practice of the religion of Islam.”

On September 27 this year, another apex court bench, headed by then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra had refused to send to a larger bench the 1994 observation that a mosque is not an integral part of Islam. The plea was raised by some appellants who wanted the court to reconsider its ruling in the M Ismail Faruqui Etc vs Union Of India And Others case, in which a Constitution Bench had observed that “a mosque is not an essential part of the practice of the religion of Islam and namaz (prayer) by Muslims can be offered anywhere, even in open”.