NEW DELHI:The Supreme Court on Monday permitted the replacement of old and worn out tarpaulin sheets, ropes and other materials with new ones at the makeshift Ram temple in Ayodhya.
“We direct that the authorised person/Commissioner, Faizabad, is permitted to replace the old and worn out tarpaulin sheet, jute matting, bamboo, polythene sheet and ropes over the makeshift structure by new ones of the same size and quality and exactly in the same manner as they were previously placed,” a Bench headed by Justice T S Thakur said.
“The process of replacement of the old cover by the new one will be undertaken and completed under the supervision of the two observers, who have been visiting the site,” the Bench directed.
Meanwhile, the court has directed its Registry to provide copies of the CDs, containing digitised records relating to the case, to parties and rejected the submission that parties be allowed to inspect the records.
“The proper course would be to direct the parties to appear before the Registrar and sort this out. It may be a long rope, but one must proceed in a methodical manner,” it said.
Senior counsel Rajeev Dhawan, appearing for one of the parties, supported the submission that old and worn out tarpaulin sheets be allowed to be replaced, contending that it had been done earlier in pursuance of the apex court’s order.
During the hearing, it was pointed out that T M Khan, one of the two independent observers, has completed his five-year tenure and the issue of his replacement has to be addressed.
The court granted six-weeks’ time to the Centre to take a decision on the issue.
The Bench also permitted that the polythene sheet at the site be covered with six inches of soil.
Earlier, the apex court had admitted several petitions challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict of three-way division of the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya on September 30, 2010.
While ordering status quo at the site, which means that prayers at Ram Lalla’s makeshift temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya would be going on as usual, the court had restrained any kind of religious activity on the nearby 67 acres, which was taken over by the Central Government.