Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy on Monday mentioned before the Supreme Court his plea that he has a fundamental right to offer prayers at the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi site in Ayodhya. However, the bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, asked him to be present in court on Tuesday during the hearing of the Ram temple case, Bar and Bench reported.
Last year, the court had disallowed Swamy’s intervention petition in the Ayodhya land dispute case, and said only parties to the original lawsuit will be allowed to file pleas. However, the bench admitted Swamy’s plea that he had filed a writ petition seeking enforcement of his fundamental right to worship at the birth place of Ram.
A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court will hear the land dispute case on Tuesday. The matter, which was earlier scheduled to be heard on January 29, was adjourned as Justice SA Bobde of the five-member bench was not available.
In January, the Supreme Court had reconstituted a bench that was supposed to hear the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute. An earlier hearing on January 10 was adjourned after Justice UU Lalit recused himself from the matter.
Chief Justice Gogoi had said the new bench would comprise Justices Ashok Bhushan, Abdul Nazeer, SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud and himself.
Hindutva organisations had been demanding that the Supreme Court pass a verdict in the case as soon as possible. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre also bemoaned the delay in the hearing of the case. However, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad earlier this month decided to postpone its campaign for a Ram temple till the Lok Sabha elections are over. The polls are expected to be held in April and May.
As many as 14 separate petitions have been filed against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict ordering a three-way division of the land on which the Babri Masjid stood. The land was divided equally between the Nirmohi Akhara, the Sunni Wakf Board and the representative for the deity Ram Lalla in the 2010 judgement.