Ayodhya title dispute: Supreme Court may revisit its own order after 24 years

A three-judge Bench agreed to examine this as a preliminary issue after senior counsel Rajeev, appearing for one of the Muslim parties submitted that the 1994 verdict was wrong.

Published: 24th March 2018 06:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th March 2018 09:21 AM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court (File | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday said that before settling the Ayodhya title dispute, it would decide on whether to refer to a larger Bench the issue of reconsideration of the entire verdict wherein it was ruled that ‘a mosque is not an essential part of the practice of the religion of Islam and Namaz by Muslims can be offered anywhere, even in the open.’

A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer agreed to examine this as a preliminary issue after senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for one of the Muslim parties submitted that the 1994 verdict was wrong and required reconsideration.The court was hearing a batch of cross petitions challenging a 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict on the Ayodhya title suit.

During the hearing, the Bench made it clear to Dhavan that, “First, we should put this controversy (on 1994 verdict) to rest. We may refer the entire or parts of the judgment to a larger Bench. If we don’t agree with your argument and come to the conclusion that the 1994 observations were made in the context of acquisition of land in Ayodhya, we may not refer it.”

Stressing the need for relook at the 1994 verdict, Dhavan, appearing for the main petitioner, Mohammad Siddiqui contended that a mosque enjoys a particular position in Muslim Law and once a mosque is established and prayers are offered in such a mosque, the same remains for all time to come as a property of Allah.

“Any person professing Islamic faith can offer prayer in such a mosque and even if the structure is demolished, the place remains the same where the Namaz can be offered,” Dhavan said.Describing the Babri Masjid demolition as a barbaric act’, Dhavan said, “The mosque was desecrated and Ram idol was installed inside a mosque and this court has granted protection to that idol, which could never be accepted.”

“You cannot demolish gurudwara and say because we have demolished gurudwara, it has lost its significance,” he added. He also told the Bench that the government can acquire the place of worship and said, “It is abundantly clear that a mosque should be treated as equal to any temple.”

Senior counsel K Parasaran, appearing on the other side, said that the 1994 top court observation that a mosque was not an essential part of Islamic religious practice and namaz could be offered anywhere was in the context of acquisition proceedings. He will continue his arguments on April 6.

India Matters


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