Muslim parties are attempting to persuade the three-judge bench hearing the sensitive Babri Masjid-Ram Temple land dispute case to refer the case to a larger bench.
NEW DELHI — The Supreme Court on India has resumed hearing the Babri Masjid-Ram Temple land dispute case on Friday.
Islam will collapse if prayer in mosque is not recognised as an integral part of the religion, the Supreme Court was told.
Representing the original litigants in this case from the Muslim side Rajiv Dhavan said the top court’s 1994 verdict had completely ignored the rights of Muslims to offer prayers in the Babri Masjid in its ruling that offering prayers in a mosque wasn’t an essential and integral part of Islam, according to NDTV.
“Islam says mosques are integral to faith. Hadith says this, but the Supreme Court says it was not integral to Islam,” the senior lawyer said, adding that the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court referred to and relied upon this observation in deciding the civil suit.
He also termed the high court’s verdict of dividing the 2.77 acre disputed Ayodhya land equally among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla as “panchayat decision”.
The top court had, in 1994, recognised the right of Hindus to worship at the temple and ordered status quo on installation of Ram idol in the disputed site. Mr Dhavan said this verdict had also taken a view that mosque need not be re-built at the same place.
Muslim parties want the bench of three judges led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra to refer the land dispute to a larger bench.
Hindu groups are contesting this demand and want the bench to decide the case straightaway.
Chief Justice Dipak Misra has made it clear that the court would take a call on the larger bench after hearing all parties.
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, said this dispute has been awaiting final adjudication for “almost a century”.
He also said that the issue of the observation was neither taken up by any litigant since 1994, nor in the present appeals which were filed in 2010 after the High Court’s verdict.
“The state of UP respectfully seeks to oppose an apparently belated prayer made at the stage of final hearing of the present First Appeals to refer the matter to a larger bench which demonstratively lacks bonafides…
“The dispute in question, namely the civil rights of the parties with regard to the subject matter of the suit, has been awaiting final judicial adjudication since almost a century,” the state said.
The bench said, at present, it has to decide whether the observation of the apex court in the 1994 verdict was required to be reconsidered by a larger bench or not.
The court said it would hear rejoinder arguments of Muslim groups on issues, including what constituted the essential practices of a religion on July 13, the next date of hearing.