Centre moves SC seeking nod to return 67-acre land around disputed Ayodhya site to Ram temple trust

In a fresh plea, the Centre said it had acquired 67 acres of land around the 2.77 acre disputed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid site.

Published: 29th January 2019 10:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th January 2019 11:39 AM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court

File photo of the Supreme Court of India (Photo| PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Months ahead of Lok Sabha polls, Centre filed an application in the Supreme Court seeking permission to return a portion of the disputed land in the Ram Temple-Babri Mosque case to Ram Janambhoomi Nyas.

Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, a trust formed by members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, oversees the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.

In 1993, the Centre had acquired 67 acres of land around the disputed site saying it was related to the dispute and the Apex court had upheld the acquisition in 1994 and ordered that this land shall remain with the Central government and shall not be released in anyone’s favour until the dispute is decided.

The same arrangement continued and reasserted by Supreme Court by a 2011 order in the Aslam Bhure’s petition, who was also a petitioner in the case.

Centre says Ram Janambhumi Nyas sought the return of excess land acquired in 1991 to original owners and says court in Ismail Faruqui judgment had said government could consider returning 67-odd acres of acquired land surrounding disputed land after Allahabad HC judgment on civil suits.

It also says since the Allahabad High Court has given the verdict and appeals against it are pending before the SC, non useful purpose will be served by the Centre in keeping the excess land in its control and that bit would be better to return the excess land to original owners.

The application also states that it will provide a plan to provide ingress and exit path to the disputed site so that whosoever wins the title suit would not be impeded of entry and exit to the core 0.331 acres of land because of release of surrounding 67-odd acres of land to original owners.

The court which is slated to hear the case today, deferred it because of non-availability of one of the five judges in the constitution bench. No new date is fixed for further hearing.

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