New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned till January 2019 the hearing on a batch of petitions challenging the Allahabad High Court’s 2010 verdict that trifurcated the disputed site at Ayodhya into three parts for Ram Lalla, the Nirmohi Akhara and the Sunni Waqf Board.
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi rejected the early hearing by saying that “the court has its own priorities”.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had urged a hearing in November because of the nature of the dispute.
But CJI Gogoi in today’s hearing that lasted four minutes, said an appropriate bench will fix a date for the hearing, meaning the court may not necessarily hear the pleas in January itself, barely months away from the crucial 2019 general elections.
The ruling BJP has made the Ayodhya Ram Temple issues as an important poll agenda. An early hearing was likely to benefit the BJP which has assured its supporters that a temple in Ayodhya will be built, though in keeping with the law.
The party will hope for a favourable verdict from the apex court before the upcoming general election.
On September 27, the Supreme Court had declined to refer to a five-judge constitution bench the issue of reconsideration of the observations in its 1994 judgment that a mosque was not integral to Islam which had arisen during the hearing of the Ayodhya land dispute.
In a majority verdict of 2:1, a three-judge bench headed by then Chief Justice Dipak Misra had said the civil suit has to be decided on the basis of evidence and the previous verdict has no relevance to this issue.
Justice Ashok Bhushan, who had penned the judgment for himself and the Chief Justice of India, had said it has to find out the context in which the five-judge bench had delivered the 1994 verdict.
However, Justice S Abdul Nazeer had disagreed with the two judges and had said whether a mosque is integral to Islam has to be decided considering religious belief which requires detailed consideration.
The issue whether a mosque is integral to Islam had cropped up when the three-judge bench was hearing the appeals filed against the Allahabad High Court's verdict.
The three-judge high court bench, in a 2:1 majority ruling, had ordered that the 2.77 acres of land be partitioned equally among three parties....