The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea seeking permission to conduct a puja at the 67-acre plot surrounding the disputed land in Ayodhya, reported IANS. The court also pulled up the petitioner for attempting to get sanction to offer prayers at the site.
“You will not let this country live in peace...Somebody has to always poke,” Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi told the petitioner, reported The Indian Express. The petitioner said he wanted access to the “undisputed part” of the land, added the publication.
The petitioner had moved court after the Allahabad High Court junked his plea and imposed a penalty of Rs 5 lakh. The Supreme Court upheld the penalty.
The petitioner was Amarnath Mishra, an Allahabad resident, News18 reported.
In December 2018, the Allahabad High Court had similarly fined a petitioner who sought access to the land to offer namaaz there.
In 2003, the court had barred religious activity of any kind on the 67.7 acres of land that was acquired by the government in 1993 after the Babri Masjid demolition. The 67 aces includes the .313 acres on which the Babri Masjid stood and the excess land is what the petitioner presumably referred to as the “undisputed part”.
The land in Ayodhya has been disputed for several years now, with both Hindu and Muslim groups claiming rights to it. In 2010, the Allahabad High Court had ordered a three-way division of the land on which the Babri Masjid stood before it was demolished in 1992. The land was divided equally between the Nirmohi Akhara, the Sunni Wakf Board and the representative for the deity Ram Lalla.
After several petitioners challenged the order before the Supreme Court, the topmost judicial authority has been hearing the title dispute. In March, it set up a three-member panel of mediators to hold deliberations with the concerned parties. Retired Supreme Court judge FMI Kalifulla heads the panel that also includes spiritual leader Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu.