The Supreme Court will on Friday take up a batch of petitions related to the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case. The matter is listed before a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice SK Kaul.
The top court is likely to constitute a three-judge bench to hear 14 separate petitions filed against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict that ordered a three-way division of the land on which the Babri Masjid stood before Hindutva activists demolished it on December 6, 1992. The land was divided equally between the Nirmohi Akhara, the Sunni Wakf Board and the representative for the deity, Ram Lalla.
In September, the top court had refused to refer to a larger bench its judgement from 1994, which held that namaaz can be offered anywhere and that a mosque is not a “essential part of the practice of the religion of Islam”. The court said this judgement would have no impact on the Ayodhya land dispute case, which will be decided on the basis of its own facts.
Senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party, including Amit Shah and Ravi Shankar Prasad, have urged the Supreme Court to fast track the hearing. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Hindu religious leaders want the government to pass an ordinance for the construction of the temple. The Shiv Sena has sought a bill for the construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
In an interview with news agency ANI earlier this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that the government will wait unil the judicial process over the dispute is complete. “Let the judicial process be over,” he had said. “After the judicial process is over, whatever will be our responsibility as the government, we are ready to make all efforts.”