Ayodhya case: Apex court puts off day of reckoning

10/29/2018

New Delhi, Sentiments heated as the Supreme Court on Monday adjourned till January, next year, the hearing of a batch of petitions in connection with the Ayodhya land dispute title case. Headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and also comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph, the bench did not set any specific date.It ruled,' We would see in January 2019 when can we hear the case.' Seconds after the order, hardliners of the majority community sought an Ordinance-route for the construction of the grand temple. The Supreme Court was to consider a batch of petitions challenging the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict trifurcating the disputed site at Ayodhya into three parts. "We adjourn the hearing till January next year. We will decide in 2019 when to hear the matter," the bench said. In the last week of September 2018, a bench, headed by the then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, dismissed a plea to refer to a larger bench the issue of whether mosques were essential for the practice of Islam . Appearing for one of the parties, senior counsel Rajeev Dhawan had earlier contended that the minority community tarnished its image by demolishing the mosque. "It was an act of terrorism," he submitted.'The majority community acted as Taliban on December 6, 1992," Dr Dhawan submitted. What happened on December 6, was an act of terrorism, he contended.Dr Dhawan had submitted to the three-judge bench of the apex court that the mosque was there since 1526 till its 1992 destruction. According to the 1994 judgment of the apex court in the Ismail Farooqi case, '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 open”. The appellants had pleaded to the apex court that the question of offering prayers inside a mosque should be referred to a five-judge bench. They had also contended that the question should be answered before the apex court decides the main title suit. Polarisation? Opposition Indian National Congress hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party for allegedly attempting to polarise the people in the name of the Temple.Talking to mediapersons here, on the occasion of launching Congress party’s manifesto website, former Union Minister P Chidambaram said all should wait till the apex court verdict. Right-wing outfits asserted that it was high time opposition Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Trinamool Congress chieftain Mamata Banerjee take a stand and be accountable. Hardliners averred that an Ordinance or the legislative measure will be a genuine alternative route to resolve the vexed dispute."A lot of people want an early hearing,"Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad commented. Union Minister Giriraj Singh said the majority community was running out of patience.A spokesman of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh asserted that the Sangh parivar fountainhead supported the construction of the grand Temple at the earliest. BJP ally Shiv Sena also affirmed that the Temple must be built in Ayodhya only and no party should make it a political football.Former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to clarify the stand of the government on the issue. Mr Sinha tweeted,' BJP opposed Supreme Court's order on Sabarimala. Even threatened violence. Now it opposes apex court on postponement of hearing on Ram Mandir. Where are we heading?The party in power is doing all this. Will the PM kindly speak up?' A leader of the minority community challenged the Centre to bring an ordinance on the Temple.In Ujjain, on the campaign trail for the upcoming November 28 polls for the Madhya Pradesh Assembly, Mr Gandhi alleged that the BJP talks of religion. 'But the main religion of the BJP is corruption.' Ground zero: Agencies Ayodhya reported that the decision of the Supreme Court upset seers and right-wing groups who now seek legislation to pave the way for an early construction of the grand Ram Temple at the disputed site.Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, too, expressed annoyance over the delay in the commencement of the Ayodhya Title suit consideration and laid the blame at the door of the Opposition Indian National Congress. Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said that it would have been better if the apex court had commenced the day-to-day hearing for an early verdict. "Delaying the hearing is not a good indication," he asserted. Former Rajya Sabha member Vinay Katiyar blamed the Congress for the delay in the hearing. "First it was Kapil Sibal and now Prashant Bhushan, who are responsible for the delay in the hearing by the apex court. Congress always wanted to delay the verdict on the matter and they have got success in it," he alleged. The fiery BJP leader made it clear that delaying the hearing now means that there will be no verdict before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls." Such an act would only increase resentment among the people and their aspiration for a grand Ram temple," he said. Hardliners demanded that the Centre should bring a legislation for the Ram Temple immediately.They alleged that delaying the hearing in the apex court could set a wrong precedent which would dismay the majority community." Now it is the duty of the BJP government at the Centre to bring a legislation to pave the way for the early construction of the Ram temple," they averred. The hardliners were contradicted by Mahant Dharamdas, who affirmed that in this case, the government would not be able to bring any legislation. The Mahant blamed the court for not hearing the submissions of the majority community before deferring the hearing till January." The court just spent minutes to defer the case and did not give even two minutes time to the parties concerned," was the seer's grouse. The minority community welcomed the decision and expressed faith on the apex court."We accept the verdict of the court as we are not in a hurry. Let the court take its time as the case is very crucial," the minority community leaders said.Lawyer in the case, Zafarayeb Jilani, said, " It is up to the court to decide when to take up the matter and no one can question it.'