Supreme Court pushes Ayodha case to January over ‘other priorities’

New Delhi: The Ayodhya temple-mosque dispute will be taken up in January, the Supreme Court said in a four-minute hearing on Monday.

This could put greater pressure on BJP for a special order to facilitate a Ram temple at the site, from its Hindu affiliates, ahead of the 2019 polls. An early hearing could mean a chance to earn extra credits from voters, for the BJP.

When the Uttar Pradesh government argued that the 100-year-old issue should be taken up on priority by the government, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, “We have other priorities.”

The Chief Justice also said that an “appropriate bench” would decide when to take up daily hearings, indicating that he may not even be one of the judges deciding on the decades-old dispute.

A number of petitions have challenged the Allahabad High Court’s 2010 verdict dividing the land into three parts, between the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The 16th century Babri mosque was razed in December 1992 by Hindu hardliners who believed it was built on the ruins of an ancient temple marking the birthplace of Lord Ram.

“The Congress has made this a Hindu-Muslim debate. There should be no debate on this…The court is also not needed. I am worried that Hindus are losing their patience, I don’t know what will happen then” reacted Union minister Giriraj Singh to the rescheduled court hearing.

Last month, on September 27, the SC declined to review a 1994 ruling that the government can acquire land that a mosque is built on as a mosque is not integral to Islam. Many believed that decision meant the temple-mosque dispute can be taken up without any delay.

RSS demands law for construction of Ram temple

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on Monday called for enactment of a law to facilitate construction of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya and said the RSS will support whatever decision is taken by saints on the matter.

“The Supreme Court has once again adjourned the hearing. This fortifies the VHP’s stand that the solution to the Ram Janambhoomi issue is not in eternally waiting for hearing of appeals pending for over seven years. We reiterate our request to the Union government to enact a law to clear the way for building a grand temple of Lord Ram at his birthplace in Ayodhya,” Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) working president Alok Kumar told PTI.
“This is a familiar story. Every 5 yrs before elections, BJP will try to polarise views on Ram mandir. The Congress party’s position is that the matter is before SC and everyone should wait until SC decides. I don’t think we should jump the gun,” said former Union finance minister P Chidambaram.