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No SC verdict on Ram temple before 2019 polls: lawyers

9/21/2018

Lucknow, The Ram temple issue, presently in the Supreme Court, could linger further and there is no chance of any verdict before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, claims the lawyers involved in the case. The current three-judge Bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra had been hearing the Ayodhya title dispute. Justice Misra is to retire on October 2 and those legally associated with the case say there is absolutely no possibility of any verdict coming in the case before that. In fact, the Bench has not entirely started with the actual hearing in the title case.Mr Jafarayeb Jilani, the convener of Babri Masjid Action committee and lawyer for the Muslim side in the Ram Janam Bhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute case, told agencies here on Friday that the bench concerned has so far heard and reserved its order only on an earlier ruling of the Apex court in 1994, which said, 'Mosque is not the essential requirement In Islam. Order on this was reserved on July 20 and is expected to be pronounced before Justice Mishra retires.” Mr Jilani said, “If the bench thinks the 1994 ruling is required to be looked into, the issue will be recommended to be heard by a five-judge bench or above it. This, because the 1994 ruling of 'Mosque not being an essential requirement in Islam' was given by a five-judge bench. He further explained that if a new bench is to be constituted, the matter will be subsequently heard by it." And if it's the other way around, even then a new bench—most likely comprising of the new Chief Justice of India—will hear it post Justice Mishra's retirement. Justice Ranjan Gogoi is set to take over as the new CJI.” Mr Jilani feels that this 1994 observation doesn't makes any significant impact on the ongoing title suit case.However, since it's related to the Ayodhya dispute, the judgement on the ruling will certainly create a flutter. Senior lawyer Hari Shankar Jain of the Hindu Mahasabha is more vocal in his observation. He says, “I don't see any solution coming from the Supreme Court even in the next two years. Forget about anything before the 2019 general elections.” He further says, “The actual hearing in the title suit has not yet started. First, the court will decide about the 1994 ruling. Only then will there be further progress.” Now, amid this clarity of no verdict on the sensitive issue in the near future, the question arises about what the Narendra Modi government wishes to do. The BJP leaders have been giving a mixed response in the matter. While BJP president Amit Shah and Prime Minister Modi have not spoken a word about the issue during their rallies and visits to Uttar Pradesh, the state’s Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had earlier suggested that temple is not part of party's agendas for the 2019 elections. Mr Adityanath said, “Lord Rama will himself decide the date of the temple construction.” This statement was widely read as BJP's tactical decision to not to make it an issue in the 2019 polls. However, UP's deputy CM Keshav Maurya had taken a different route. Mr Maurya had said, “We are committed about the Ram temple and the Centre will not be shy away from bringing in a legislation to pave way for the construction of Ram Temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya.”

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