Ayodhya Dispute: SC to Continue 'Final Hearing' Today

Ayodhya Dispute: SC to Continue 'Final Hearing' Today

The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, dismissed 32 intervention pleas filed by third parties in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute. A special bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S A Najeeb accepted the plea that only original parties to the dispute be allowed to advance arguments in the case and the intervention applications of unrelated persons seeking intervention as parties be rejected.

"Lord Ram", the surprise appellant in the dispute, has already asked why three-way division of the land was ordered when the entire 2.77 acres should have been given to him where his devotees could have built a grand temple. The court also barred BJP leader Subramanian Swamy from intervening in the case.

The Bench also rejected applications filed by renowned personalities, including Shyam Benegal, Anil Dharkar and Teesta Setalvad, urging to put the 2.77 acre of the disputed land at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh to "secular use" rather than religious that may continue to create communal tension.

The bench, however, considered Swamy's submission that he had not sought to intervene in the matter but filed a separate writ petition seeking enforcement of his fundamental right to worship at the birth place of Lord Ram in Ayodhya.

"That judgment said a mosque is not an essential part of the practice of the religion of Islam and namaz by Muslims can be offered anywhere, even in open".

This was after senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who appears for Mohammed Siddiqui, one of the main petitioners referred to a five-judge bench decision by a five-judge bench of the court in a 1994 Ayodhya land acquisition case that mosques are not an integral part of Islam.

A civil suit for deciding the title of the property on which the Babri Masjid stood before it was demolished on 6 December 1992 had been filed before the high court.

The next hearing date has been fixed on March 23.

Meanwhile, the court allowed all interim pleas of parties for bringing additional documents on record "for setting aside abatement, for condonation of delay, for substitution, for exemption from filing official translation".

A case was filed in the Allahabad High Court, whose verdicts was pronounced on 30 September 2010.