Babri Masjid demolition

Ayodhya dispute: Supreme Court dismisses all intervention applications

The bench also rejected 32 pleas urging to put the disputed land to ‘secular use’.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed all the intervention applications filed in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi case, ANI reported. The top court directed the Registry not to entertain any more interim pleas filed by third parties in the matter.

The bench said only original parties to the dispute should be allowed to place arguments in the case. It will take up the matter for further hearing on March 23.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy had filed an intervention plea in the matter in the top court in August 2017. Swamy had said that he was raising the matter of Hindu fundamental right to religion guaranteed under Article 25 of the Constitution.

Swamy’s intervention application on right to worship has now been converted to a writ petition and will be heard by an appropriate bench, Bar and Bench reported. “I had filed a writ petition saying that I have a fundamental right to worship and this is a superior right than property right,” Swamy said.

The Supreme Court also rejected applications filed by 32 petitioners, including Shyam Benegal, Anil Dharkar and Teesta Setalvad, urging to put the 2.77 acre disputed land to “secular use” rather than religious, The Times of India reported.

A special bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer was to start final hearings on 13 appeals filed against the judgment of the Allahabad High Court on February 8. The High Court had ruled a three-way split of the disputed 2.77 acres in Ayodhya.

However, the top court had deferred the matter to Wednesday as some documents and translations had not been filed. It had also said that it would treat the case only as a land dispute.

The disputed plot has been divided among the Sunni Waqf Board, a Hindu organisation called the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla or Infant Rama, which is represented by the Hindu Mahasabha for the construction of the Ram temple.

On December 6, 1992, the mosque was demolished by lakhs of karsevaks who had gathered at the site from across the country. The incident had triggered communal riots across the country. The karsevaks had claimed that the land on which the mosque stood was the birthplace of Ram.

The movement to demolish the mosque was led by members of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Vishwa Hindu Parishad. BJP leader LK Advani piloted one of many roadshows across India in 1990 to galvanise support to have a temple built at the site of the mosque.

In May 2017, a special Central Bureau of Investigation court granted bail to LK Advani and other BJP leaders like Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

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