The Supreme Court in a verdict has clearly declined to refer to a five-judge Constitution bench the issue of reconsideration of the observations in its 1994 judgement that a mosque was not integral to Islam that arose during the hearing of Ayodhya land dispute.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer pronounced the verdict.The majority judgment 2: 1 was pronounced by Ashok Bhushan on behalf of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and himself. Justice S Abdul Nazeer was the lone dissenting voice .
Further, Supreme Court ill now begin hearing on the Ayodhya matter from October 29 unhindered , 2018 to decide the title suit on merit. In a way paving the path for building a Ram temple .
The bench further clarified that the observations in paragraph 52 of the 1994 Ismail Faruqi judgment, that mosque was not an integral part of Islam, have to be understood in the context of land acquisition proceedings. Ismail Faruqui had held that a religious place cannot claim immunity from compulsory acquisition, and the observations regarding mosque were made in that context. Thus, indicating that a place of worship can be acquired by state or government.
The issue had cropped up when a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra was hearing the batch of appeals filed against the Allahabad High Court’s 2010 verdict by which the disputed land on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid area was divided in three parts. Namely, the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla
It was argued by the Muslim groups before a special bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer that the “sweeping” observation of the apex court in the verdict needed to be reconsidered by a five-judge bench as “it had and will have a bearing” on the Babri Masjid-Ram Temple land dispute case.
Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for legal representative of Siddiq, had said that the observation that mosques were not essential for practising Islam were made by the apex court without any enquiry or considering the religious texts.
The Uttar Pradesh government had earlier told the top court that some Muslim groups were trying to delay the hearing in the “long-pending” Ayodhya temple-mosque land dispute case by seeking reconsideration of the observation in the 1994 verdict that a mosque was not integral to Islam.
The observations were made in the land acquisition matter pertaining to the Ayodhya site and the apex court had to consider two aspects as to whether a mosque could be acquired at all and whether a religious place of worship like a mosque, church or temple was immune from acquisition if it was a place of special significance for that religion and formed its essential and integral part.
The special bench of the apex court is seized of a total of 14 appeals filed against the high court judgement delivered in four civil suits.