Libertatem Magazine

Ram Mandir-Babri case not referred to a larger bench, Justice Nazeer dissents on the same

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The Supreme Court held that the Ram Mandir-Babri case need not to a five-judge Constitution Bench. Effectively, the Court held that its 1994 judgment in Ismail Faruqui v. Union of India during the hearing of the Ayodhya Land dispute need not be revisited. The court also added that the main Ayodhya case will be taken up for hearing in the week starting October 29.

The judgment was delivered by a Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer on Thursday, September 27, wherein a batch of Muslims made a plea for referring of the Ram Mandir-Babri case to a larger bench of comprising of five judges, reconsidering the observations made in 1994 verdict that the mosque was not integral to Islam. The judges of the Allahabad High Court in 2:1 majority ruling had ordered that the land should of 2.77 acres be partitioned equally among the three parties i.e. – The Sunni Waqf Board, The Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. Not only this the judges made a clear statement in the same ratio making it clear that the same matter will not be referred t a larger bench of five –judges.

Reading out the judgment for himself and Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justice Ashok Bhushan stated that the judgment in Ismail Faruqui will not impact decisions in suits. “The observations in that judgment were only with respect to immunity from acquisition and won’t affect suits, also during the course of the hearing, Justice Bhushan had observed that nobody was questioning that “Mosque is essential to Islam, but the question is whether offering Namaz in a Mosque was essential.”

The Hindu parties said that reference to 1994 judgement in the hearing of the title suit in no way impacted the 2010 High Court judgment.

The court was told that the birthplace of Lord Ram acquisition be shifted to another site, while a mosque with no particular religious significance to the Muslims can be shifted as that will “not affect the right to practice religion by offering ‘namaz’ in other mosques”.

To go to pilgrimage is a practice of religious faith both for the Muslims and the Hindus as well, but for the Muslims, “Mecca and Medina alone are places of particular significance” as pilgrimage centres, but for them, such was not the case with Ayodhya/Babri Masjid.However, Justice Abdul Nazeer does not completely agree the conclusions and dissents stating that in the case of Ismail Faruqui v. Union Of India, the case the was not comprehensively examined and so it needs to be revisited and re-examined in detail.

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