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Satya Prakash Bharti | HENB | New Delhi | August 6, 2017:: Almost seven years after the Allahabad High Court’s order dividing the 2.7-acre disputed land at the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site equally between Ram Lalla Virajman, Nirmohi Akhara and Sunni Wakf Board, the Supreme Court will take up cross-appeals filed by various parties on August 11.
The Chief Justice of India has framed a 3 judges bench consisting of Justices Dipak Misra, Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer to hear Ayodhya matter+ on August 11.
The appeals against the September 30 verdict of the Allahabad High Court would be listed before a three-judge Special Bench for hearing at 2 pm on Friday, a circular issued by the top court said.
The listing of the vexed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid problem case almost two weeks after Chief Justice of India JS Khehar assured senior BJP leader Dr Subramanian Swamy that the appeals would be taken up soon.
“We are going to list the main matter soon. We will take a decision on it,” a Bench headed by CJI Khehar had on July 21 told Swamy after he mentioned the matter for urgent listing.
Swamy, an intervener in the case, had said the appeals were pending for the last seven years and they needed to be heard urgently. He said his petition for enforcement of his right to worship without much hassle at the makeshift temple, too, was pending. He demanded expeditious disposal of all these cases.
Hindus believe that Lord Ram was born in Ayodhya thousands of years ago. During Mughal Emperor Babar’s rule, a mosque was constructed at the place in 1528 after destroying the temples existing there.
The RSS, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and BJP have been running a campaign for construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya.
On December 6, 1992, kar sevaks of right-wing Hindu organisations demolished the disputed structure. Many BJP leaders, including LK Advani and Murali Manohar Joshi, are facing a criminal case in connection with the demolition.
But the civil dispute over 2.7 acres is a separate one that has been on since 1961 when the Sunni Wakf Board took the matter to court.
Swamy had told the Bench that the Centre had in an affidavit filed in 1994 said that it would hand over the disputed land for construction of temple if it was proved that the Babri Masjid was built on a pre-existing temple. He said it had been proved by the Archeological Survey of India and the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court had accepted it. He had suggested that the mosque could be constructed across the Saryu.
Earlier, the CJI had offered to play a mediator to solve the contentious issue if parties agreed to it, saying a negotiated settlement of the Ayodhya dispute was a better option. But the parties to the dispute could not agree to the suggestion.
In 2010, the Lucknow bench of Allahabad HC had ruled a three-way division of the 2.77 acres at the disputed site in Ayodhya. The three-judge bench, by a 2:1 majority, had said the land be partitioned equally among three parties, ‘Ram Lalla’, Nirmohi Akhara and Sunni Wakf Board. On an appeal by Muslim bodies, SC had stayed implementation of the HC decision soon after.
Dr. Dr Subramanian Swamy also urged in SC to hear the Ayodhya matter on daily basis, on which the apex court did not deliver its clear order.
In a recent development, the UP Shia Central Waqf Board (UPSCWB) decided to become a party in all ongoing litigations related to the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid cases+, by claiming that the mosque — which was demolished by a Hindu mob led by VHP on December 6, 1992 — was a Shia waqf property.
The UPSCWB said that Waqf Masjid Mir Baqi popularly known as Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was a Shia mosque. Board chairperson Waseem Rizvi also raised doubts on the role of the board back in 1946 alleging out of a conspiracy the Sunni Board take over the Mosque clandestinely.
__With Tribune News Inputs.