Will Hear Ayodhya Case As "Pure Land Dispute", Says Supreme Court: 10 Facts

Ayodhya Case: A group of 32 prominent citizens including filmmaker Shyam Benegal want to intervene in the Ayodhya dispute case, prompting the court to wonder aloud how they could be associated with a case that was essentially a "title suit".


Ayodhya Case: The court was earlier expected to hold day-to-day hearing in the case.

New Delhi:  The case over the 2.7 acre disputed Ayodhya site claimed by both Hindus and Muslims will be taken up by the Supreme Court on March 14. A three-judge bench of the top court headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, which put off the hearings expected to start today also, has underlined that it would deal with the case as a "pure land dispute". The judges had last year rejected a suggestion by senior lawyer and Congress leader Kapil Sibal to defer hearings till after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Here are the top 10 points of the hearing in the Ayodhya Case:
  1. A group of 32 prominent citizens including filmmaker Shyam Benegal want to intervene in the Ayodhya dispute case, prompting the court to wonder aloud how they could be associated with a case that was essentially a "title suit".
  2. "How can third parties intervene?  For now, we are neither dismissing it nor allowing it", the bench, also comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer, observed. Chief Justice Dipak Misra said he is not allowing anyone else as intervenors for now.
  3. The petitions before the judges relate to the 2010 verdict of the Allahabad High Court in the title suit that had been pending for nearly six decades. The dispute before the court was whether the 2.7 acres of disputed land on which the Babri Masjid stood before it was demolished on December 6, 1992, belongs to the Sunni Central Waqf Board or to the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha.
  4. The high court allotted two-thirds of the land to Hindus and said they could keep a makeshift temple built over the razed mosque's central dome. Both Hindu and Muslim organisations appealed to the Supreme Court, which, in March this year, advised them to settle for an out-of-court settlement.
  5. Muslims make up about 13 per cent of India's population. Most of them are Sunni; properties owned by the community are handled by the Sunni Waqf Board which was given a third of the land in the 2010 verdict. The Shia Waqf Board, which has proposed a temple at the disputed site, however, wants to intervene in the Ayodhya dispute case as well.
  6. At the last hearing, Kapil Sibal, Dushyant Dave and Rajiv Dhawan, representing different Muslim petitioners, had argued that the hearings must be deferred as building a Ram temple at the disputed site is a part of the ruling BJP's manifesto. Chief Justice Dipak Misra had expressed "shock and surprise" at the suggestion, asserting that the judges were "not bothered about what's happening outside".
  7. Later, the Chief Justice had also censured the senior lawyers for the manner in which they argued. "Raising voices will never be tolerated. Argue on legal principles. Raising voice shows incompetency not worthy of senior lawyers," Chief Justice Misra had said, disapproving their conduct.
  8. Mr Sibal's comments in court had provoked a huge political controversy outside too, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking at election rallies in Gujarat why he linked the Ram temple to general elections. The BJP has accused the Congress of trying delay verdict in the case and said it firmly favours an early resolution.
  9. Its campaign for a Ram temple in Ayodhya propelled the BJP into a major political force in the 1990s, but in the last few years, the party relegated it to the back pages of its election manifestos even in Uttar Pradesh. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, a saffron-clad priest who took charge after the BJP's sweep in assembly elections this year, has asserted that building a Ram temple is a key agenda.
  10. Thousands of right-wing activists had razed the Babri mosque in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, claiming it was built on a temple marking the birthplace of Lord Ram, which was destroyed in the 16th century. 2,000 people were killed in the riots that followed the Babri Masjid demolition.

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