Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: On the 7th Day of the Ayodhya Title dispute hearing, Ram Lalla’s counsel, Senior Advocate CS Vaidyanathan, told the 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ that

“a “massive” temple of Lord Ram, dating back to the second century BC (Before Christ), existed at the disputed site in Ayodhya before the construction of Babri Masjid.”

He referred to the report of a court commissioner, appointed to inspect the site in 1950, and also relied upon the findings of the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) to buttress its claim over the disputed 2.77-acre land in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya. He submitted that according to the ASI report, there “existed a massive, pillar-based structure dating back to the second century BC and the ASI survey was conclusive about there being a ‘mandap’ at the site with pillars“.

The senior lawyer extensively referred to various pictures and reports, including the ASI’s findings on the excavated materials from the disputed site, and said, however, there was no such material to show that it was a temple of only Lord Ram. But the pictures of the deities, including those of Lord Shiva, sculptures on the pillars of “Garuda” flanked by lions and the images of lotus amply indicated that it was a temple and moreover, these things were not found in mosques.

“Keeping in mind the faith of Hindus and preponderance of probability, it would indicate that this was a temple of Lord Ram. … Along with the massive old structure, other materials found during excavation suggested that it was a temple,”

Referring to the Allahabad High Court order, he said one of the judges, Justice S U Khan, did not deal with the ASI report in his judgment and erroneously concluded that the mosque came up on a vacant land and on the ruins of a temple, while the other two judges took note of the report, which said there was a temple where the mosque came up.

When the bench noticed that the question before it was not about the structure but whether it was of religious nature before the mosque was built there, the counsel said,

“It was a temple where the public had access. The basic foundation was the same, while the structure was rebuilt. The underlying foundation never changed. There was a total of 17 rows of pillar bases and each row had five pillars,”

On this the bench asked,

“You also have a grave here. How would you interpret this,”

To this the counsel responded that the grave belonged to a much later period. He also added that there were several layers of excavations and the grave was not found during the deep excavation.

On the issue of “namaz” being offered at the disputed site in the past, Vaidyanathan said,

“Offering prayers cannot mean valid possession unless you already own it. If prayer is offered on the street, it cannot be a proof to own it,”

The bench said the question was whether the disputed structure was “built as a mosque or being used as a mosque“. On this the Counsel said,

“No mosque will ordinarily contain pillars of this nature,”

He said during the 1950 inspection itself, it was very clear that there were various “structures, images” that belied the claim that it was a mosque.

A five-judge constitution bench is conducting a day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya title dispute case, after it had on August 2 observed that since the mediation panel on Ayodhya matter has failed to achieve any final settlement in the matter, it will hold a day-to-day hearing in the case from August 6.

Fourteen appeals are pending before the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict which ordered equal division of the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.

(Source: PTI)


More from the day-to-day hearing in Ayodhya Title Dispute:

DAY 1| No Muslim has entered the disputed land since 1934: Nirmohi Akhara

DAY 2 | SC seeks evidence of possession of Ramjanmabhumi from Nirmohi Akhara

DAY 3|Both Hindus & Muslims have always called the disputed site a ‘Janmasthana’: Ram Lalla’s counsel

DAY 4| SC rejects Sr Adv Rajeev Dhavan’s plea against 5-days a week hearing

DAY 5| Arguments advanced on whether there was an existing temple at the disputed site

DAY 6| Court shouldn’t go beyond rationality of belief of Ayodhya being Lord Ram’s birthplace: Ram Lalla’s counsel

Also read:

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed [Full Report]

Should Ayodhya dispute be decided by mediation? SC to decide on March 6 [Full Report]

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either: SC

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: On Day 6 of the Ayodhya Title dispute hearing, Senior advocate C.S. Vaidyanathan, appearing for deity Ram Lalla, told the 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ that

“it is the belief of Hindus that Ayodhya is Lord Ram’s birthplace and the court should not go beyond to see how rational it is.”

He also told the Court that the birthplace of Lord Ram was also a deity and Muslims cannot claim right over the 2.77-acre disputed land as any division of the property would amount to “destruction” and “mutilation” of the deity itself.

The Court had asked if Hindus and Muslims jointly possessed the disputed site, Muslims could be ousted from it.

Vaidyanathan also submitted before the Court that the English writer William Foster published a book “Early Travels in India” which describes Ayodhya and building of Ram temple.

The Supreme Court said one of the earliest European geographers who write about India Joseph Tiefenthaler seems to suggest that Ram temple was demolished by Aurangzeb. On this, Vaidyanathan said Tiefenthaler refers to two accounts one of demolition by Aurangzeb and second by Babur, but it is clear it was demolished before 1786.

“Who demolished the temple wouldn’t matter for us as it proves that the temple existed. What is important about the document is that it identifies the Janmasthan and that a mosque was put up at the site of the Ram temple.”

On Court’s question when was the temple called Babri Masjid came into existence, Vaidyanathan said:

“In the 19th century it was called Babri Masjid. Before that, there was nothing to prove or show it was called Babri Masjid. Before 1786 there is no document to show this was known as Babri Masjid.”

A five-judge constitution bench is conducting a day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya title dispute case, after it had on August 2 observed that since the mediation panel on Ayodhya matter has failed to achieve any final settlement in the matter, it will hold a day-to-day hearing in the case from August 6.

Fourteen appeals are pending before the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict which ordered equal division of the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.

(Source: ANI & The Hindu)


More from the day-to-day hearing:

Ayodhya hearing (DAY 1)| No Muslim has entered the disputed land since 1934: Nirmohi Akhara

Ayodhya hearing (DAY 2)| SC seeks evidence of possession of Ramjanmabhumi from Nirmohi Akhara

Ayodhya hearing (DAY 3)|Both Hindus & Muslims have always called the disputed site a ‘Janmasthana’: Ram Lalla’s counsel

Ayodhya hearing (DAY 4)| : SC rejects Sr Adv Rajeev Dhavan’s plea against 5-days a week hearing

Ayodhya hearing (DAY 5)| Arguments advanced on whether there was an existing temple at the disputed site

Also read:

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed [Full Report]

Should Ayodhya dispute be decided by mediation? SC to decide on March 6 [Full Report]

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either: SC

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: On the 5th Day of the Ayodhya Title dispute hearing, arguments on whether a temple existed at the disputed site in Ayodhya were presented before the 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ.

Senior advocate C S Vaidyanathan, appearing for deity Ram Lalla Virajman, advanced arguments on whether there was an existing temple over which the mosque came up, before a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

Three judges of the Allahabad High Court had held that there was a temple at the disputed site, Vaidyanathan told the bench also comprising Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer.

“Justice SU Khan of the high court had said that the mosque was built on the ruins of the temple,”

Senior advocate K Parasaran, also appearing for deity ‘Ram Lalla Virajman’ told the court that it must do “full and complete justice” in all matters before it.

The bench had on Friday last asked as to whether anyone from the ‘Raghuvansha’ (descendants of Lord Ram) dynasty still resides in Ayodhya.

A five-judge constitution bench is conducting a day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya title dispute case, after it had on August 2 observed that since the mediation panel on Ayodhya matter has failed to achieve any final settlement in the matter, it will hold a day-to-day hearing in the case from August 6.

Fourteen appeals are pending before the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict which ordered equal division of the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.

(Source: PTI)


More from the day-to-day hearing:

Ayodhya hearing (DAY 1)| No Muslim has entered the disputed land since 1934: Nirmohi Akhara

Ayodhya hearing (DAY 2)| SC seeks evidence of possession of Ramjanmabhumi from Nirmohi Akhara

Ayodhya hearing (DAY 3)|Both Hindus & Muslims have always called the disputed site a ‘Janmasthana’: Ram Lalla’s counsel

Ayodhya hearing (DAY 4)| : SC rejects Sr Adv Rajeev Dhavan’s plea against 5-days a week hearing

Also read:

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed [Full Report]

Should Ayodhya dispute be decided by mediation? SC to decide on March 6 [Full Report]

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either: SC

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court:  On the fourth day of hearing in the Ayodhya title dispute case, the counsel appearing for one of the Muslim parties, raised objection over the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the appeals on five days in a week rather than three. The Court, however, refused  to conduct a 3-days a week hearing and said,

“if you need a break, we can give you when you argue or submit your contentions before us in the case.”

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan had told the 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ that its decision to hear the case five days in a week is “inhuman”.

“We will not be able to assist the court. Hearing cannot be rushed through. It is simply not possible. I will be forced to leave this case. I am being put to torture because of this case,”

On the the CJI said,

“We have heard your grievance and will inform you about it soon,”

The bench had, on August 8, said that it will hear the Ayodhya title dispute case five days in the week — from Monday to
Friday. It is a deviation from the normal rules as the Constitution bench normally hears the matters only from Tuesday to Thursday. The Court only hears fresh or miscellaneous matters on Monday and Friday.

A five-judge constitution bench is conducting a day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya title dispute case, after it had on August 2 observed that since the mediation panel on Ayodhya matter has failed to achieve any final settlement in the matter, it will hold a day-to-day hearing in the case from August 6.

Fourteen appeals are pending before the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict which ordered equal division of the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.

(Source: ANI)


More from the day-to-day hearing:

Ayodhya hearing (DAY 1)| No Muslim has entered the disputed land since 1934: Nirmohi Akhara

Ayodhya hearing (DAY 2)| SC seeks evidence of possession of Ramjanmabhumi from Nirmohi Akhara

Ayodhya hearing (DAY 3)|Both Hindus & Muslims have always called the disputed site a ‘Janmasthana’: Ram Lalla’s counsel

Also read:

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed [Full Report]

Should Ayodhya dispute be decided by mediation? SC to decide on March 6 [Full Report]

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either: SC

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: Senior Advocate K Parasaran, appearing for the Ram Lalla, one of the parties in title dispute case, has told the Supreme Court that Lord Ram’s birth place need not be the exact spot but could also mean surrounding areas.

“Janmasthan need not be the exact spot but can also mean surrounding areas,”

Parasaran told the 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ that there was no dispute that the disputed site is the “Janmasthana” (birthplace). He maintained that both Hindus and Muslims have always called it a Janmasthana.

The counsel further contended that the high court had ordered partition of the disputed properties but no one had sought it.

“The rights of the entire area, that is 2.77 acres as a whole, had to be decided but the high court divided the property,”

A five-judge constitution bench is conducting a day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya title dispute case, after it had on August 2 observed that since the mediation panel on Ayodhya matter has failed to achieve any final settlement in the matter, it will hold a day-to-day hearing in the case from August 6.

Fourteen appeals are pending before the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict which ordered equal division of the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.

(Source: ANI)


More from the day-to-day hearing:

Ayodhya hearing (DAY 1)| No Muslim has entered the disputed land since 1934: Nirmohi Akhara

Ayodhya hearing (DAY 2)| SC seeks evidence of possession of Ramjanmabhumi from Nirmohi Akhara

Also read:

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed [Full Report]

Should Ayodhya dispute be decided by mediation? SC to decide on March 6 [Full Report]

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either: SC

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: The Court has sought evidence of possession of Ramjanmabhumi from Nirmohi Akhara, after it contended that it had lost the records in a dacoity in 1982.

Senior advocate Sushil Kumar Jain, appearing for the Akhara, told the 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, Jof that the obstruction to worship and prayer is what forced them to file the civil suits.

“Not just my right of possession but my right of management has also been taken away … There are some property rights which the Shebiat (temple custodian-priest) enjoys. It is not just office but proprietary rights are blended with it. These Shebiats are more than mere managers. They also have proprietary rights,”

The Court clarified that Section 142 of the Limitation Act speaks of possession of the immovable property but does not talk about management and hence the possession of property and management of worship are two different things. Yesterday, the Akhara had told the top court that Muslims were not allowed to enter the temple gate since 1934 and it is in their possession since then.

The counsel asserted that the inner courtyard, which includes Sita Rasoi, Bhandar Grih and a place known as “Janamasthan” are in the possession of the Akhara.

A five-judge constitution bench is conducting a day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya title dispute case, after it had on August 2 observed that since the mediation panel on Ayodhya matter has failed to achieve any final settlement in the matter, it will hold a day-to-day hearing in the case from August 6.

Fourteen appeals are pending before the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict which ordered equal division of the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.

(Source: ANI)


More from the day-to-day hearing:

Ayodhya hearing (DAY 1)| No Muslim has entered the disputed land since 1934: Nirmohi Akhara

Also read:

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed [Full Report]

Should Ayodhya dispute be decided by mediation? SC to decide on March 6 [Full Report]

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either: SC

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: On Day 1 of the day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya land dispute, Nirmohi Akhara, told the 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ that Muslims were not allowed to enter the temple gate since 1934 and it is in their possession since then.

Senior advocate Sushil Jain, appearing on behalf of the Nirmohi Akhara, told the bench that the suit was filed by his client for the belonging, possession and management rights.

“The dome structure in the inner courtyard belongs to the Nirmohi Akhara. They have been wrongfully deprived of the charge and management of the temple,”

The counsel asserted that the inner courtyard, which includes Sita Rasoi, Bhandar Grih, and a place known as “Janam Asthan”, are in the possession of the Akhara.

“The idols were placed inside the mosque on the intervening night of December 22-23, 1949. The dispute for Nirmohi Akhara is for the inner courtyard and not the outer courtyard,”

He further contended that the claim over the disputed land was filed by the Nirmohi Akhara in 1934, whereas Sunni Waqf Board filed the suit in 1961.

Earlier in the day, the Court refused live streaming or audio/video recording of the proceedings due to non-feasibility of the same at the moment. KN Govindacharya had, on 05.08.2019, sought live streaming and recording of the proceedings in the Ayodhya case. He submitted that for the time being, at least the recording of proceedings can be done and at the later stage, live streaming could be considered. Govindacharya, in his petition, asserted that the public are being denied their right to access to justice under Article 21 of the Constitution.

A five-judge constitution bench is conducting a day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya title dispute case, after it had on August 2 observed that since the mediation panel on Ayodhya matter has failed to achieve any final settlement in the matter, it will hold a day-to-day hearing in the case from August 6.

Fourteen appeals are pending before the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict which ordered equal division of the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.

(Source: ANI)


Also read:

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed [Full Report]

Should Ayodhya dispute be decided by mediation? SC to decide on March 6 [Full Report]

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either: SC

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court:  The Court has agreed to consider the live streaming of the proceeding in the Ayodhya land dispute case after deliberation and institutional decision-making.

A bench headed by Justice S A Bobde said that it would look into the administrative side of the matter after senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing on behalf of former RSS idealogue KN Govindacharya, mentioned the petition
before it, seeking live streaming and recording of the proceedings in the Ayodhya case. He submitted that for the time being, at least the recording of proceedings can be done and at the later stage, live streaming could be considered. Govindacharya, in his petition, asserted that the public are being denied their right to access to justice under Article 21 of the Constitution.

The plea stated

“live streaming of the Ayodhya case is required considering the fact that in the absence of live streaming of proceedings of this Court, the public are also being denied their right to know as per Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.”

It further said,

“This Court has already held that ‘right of access to justice flowing from Article 21 of the Constitution or be it the concept of justice at the doorstep, would be meaningful only if the public get access to the proceedings as it would unfold before the courts and in particular, opportunity to witness live proceedings in respect of matters having an impact on the public at large or on a section of people,”

The Supreme Court had on August 2 observed that since the mediation panel on Ayodhya matter has failed to achieve any final settlement in the matter, it will hold a day-to-day hearing in the case from August 6.


Also read:

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed [Full Report]

Should Ayodhya dispute be decided by mediation? SC to decide on March 6 [Full Report]

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either: SC

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: After the the Justice F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla led Mediation Committee submitted the mediation report before the  5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ, the Court observed that the mediation panel has failed to achieve any final settlement in the matter and it would, hence, hold day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya dispute from August 6.

“The mediation proceedings have not resulted in any final settlement. We, therefore, have to proceed with the hearing of the cases/appeals, which will commence on and from 6.8.2019.”

The Court had, on March 8, referred the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case, famously known as the Ayodhya Dispute, to a Court-monitored Mediation. It said:

“Notwithstanding the lack of consensus between the parties in the matter we are of the view that an attempt should be made to settle the dispute by mediation.”

The 3-member committee also consisted of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Senior Advocate Sriram Panchu.

[M. Siddiq v. Mahant Suresh Das, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 958, order dated 02.08.2019]


Also read:

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed [Full Report]

Should Ayodhya dispute be decided by mediation? SC to decide on March 6 [Full Report]

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either: SC

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ has asked the Justice F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla led Mediation Committee to submit the outcome of the mediation proceedings as on 31.7.2019 by 1.8.2019.

 

Pursuant to the order dated 11.7.2019, Justice F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla had submitted a report before the Court but since the Court had ordered that the proceedings of mediation will confidential, the bench refused to disclose the contents of the report. However, taking into account what has been brought to its notice by the said report, the Court fixed the daily hearing of the cases from 2.8.2019.

[M. Siddiq v. Mahant Suresh Das, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 844, order dated 11.07.2019]


Also read:

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed [Full Report]

Should Ayodhya dispute be decided by mediation? SC to decide on March 6 [Full Report]

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either: SC

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ has asked Justice F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla, the Chairman of the Mediation Committee, to inform it the progress of mediation till date and the stage at which the said process is presently at, latest by 18th July, 2019. The Court said that it will accordingly pass further orders on July 18.

It also made clear,

“if this Court comes to a conclusion that, having regard to the report of Justice F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla, the mediation proceedings should be ordered to be concluded, the Court will do so and order for commencement of the hearing of the appeals before it, tentatively, on and from 25th July, 2019, which hearings, if required, will be conducted on day-to-day basis.”

On March 8, the Court had referred the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case, famously known as the Ayodhya Dispute, to a Court-monitored Mediation.

On May 7, Justice F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla, a former Judge of this Court, submitted a report requesting for extension of time to complete the proceedings. Time was granted by this Court by its order dated 10th May, 2019, up to 15th August, 2019.

[M. Siddiq v. Mahant Suresh Das, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 844, order dated 11.07.2019]


Also read:

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed [Full Report]

Should Ayodhya dispute be decided by mediation? SC to decide on March 6 [Full Report]

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either: SC

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: Nirmohi Akhara, one of the parties in the Ayodhya  title dispute case, has filed an application in the Supreme Court, opposing the Centre’s plea to return to the original owners excess land acquired around the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site.

“The government cannot get back the land to give it to who they want. Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas cannot be given a majority of the land,”

The lawyer appearing for the Akhara said that the acquisition of the land by the government had led to the destruction of several temples managed by the Akhara. The Akhara has pleaded to the court to decide the title dispute.

The central government had in January this year filed a petition seeking modification of the court’s 2003 order to allow it to return the “excess/superfluous land” out of the 67.703 acres acquired in Ayodhya to its original owners including Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas. The government had been directed by the court to maintain “status quo” with regard to entire land including the non-disputed acquired areas.

(Source: ANI)


Also read

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ has referred the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case, famously known as the Ayodhya Dispute, to a Court-monitored Mediation. It said:

“Notwithstanding the lack of consensus between the parties in the matter we are of the view that an attempt should be made to settle the dispute by mediation.”

Stating that there is no legal impediment to making a reference to mediation for a possible settlement of the disputes arising out of the appeals, the Court said that whether Order 1 rule 8 CPC and Order XXIII rule 3-B of the CPC would apply in the event parties arrive at a settlement/compromise in the mediation proceedings is a matter left open to be decided at the appropriate stage.

Panel of Mediators:

  1. Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla, Former Judge, Supreme Court of India – Chairman
  2. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar – Member
  3. Shri Sriram Panchu, Senior Advocate – Member

The members are at liberty to co-opt other members of the Panel.

Where and how:

The proceedings will take place and Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh. The Court directed the Uttar Pradesh government to provide mediators all the facilities in Faizabad. Mediators can seek further legal assistance as and when required. The proceedings will be held in-camera.

Time-frame:

The mediation process is expected to commence within a week and the mediators have to send a report of the progress of the mediation to the Court within four weeks of the commencement of the process.

Confidentiality of the proceedings:

The Court said that the mediation proceedings should be conducted with utmost confidentiality so as to ensure its success which can only be safeguarded by directing that the proceedings of mediation and the views expressed therein by any of the parties including the learned Mediators shall be kept confidential and shall not be revealed to any other person. The Court further said:

“while the mediation proceedings are being carried out, there ought not to be any reporting of the said proceedings either in the print or in the electronic media. However, we refrain from passing any specific order at this stage and instead empower the learned mediators to pass necessary orders in writing, if so required, to restrain publication of the details of the mediation proceedings.”

In it’s order dated 26.02.2019, the Court has said that:

“the mediation suggested is only to effectively utilize the time of eight weeks that would be taken to make the cases ready for hearing.”

Reserving it’s order on 06.03.2019, the Court had said:

“Even if there is one percent chance, it should be explored.”

[M. Siddiq v. Mahant Suresh Das, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 342, order dated 08.03.2019]

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: The 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ has said that it will ‘soon’ pass the order on whether the Ayodhya dispute will be referred to a Court appointed mediation for ‘permanent solution’.

The Court has asked the parties to suggest the name of a mediator or a panel of mediators. It said:

“There need not be one mediator but a panel of mediators. When the mediation is on, it should not be reported on. It may not be a gag but no motive should be attributed to anyone when the mediation process in on.”

Considering the possibility of ‘healing relations’, the Court said:

“Even if there is one percent chance, it should be explored.”

In it’s order dated 26.02.2019, the Court has said that:

“the mediation suggested is only to effectively utilize the time of eight weeks that would be taken to make the cases ready for hearing.”

(With inputs from ANI)

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ said that it will pass order on March 6, 2019 on whether the case may be sent for court-monitored mediation to save time.

At the outset of the hearing, CJI said that the Court will start hearing only when all the contesting parties tell it clearly whether official translated copies of records done by State of Uttar Pradesh is acceptable to all as it did not want any dispute over it in the midst of hearing. The State of Uttar Pradesh has submitted translation of the oral evidence in the case which runs into about 13000 pages.

CJI Gogoi said:

“We are not going to waste our time and of this Court if disputes are going to be raised regarding translation of the documents.”

The Court, hence, directed:

“We direct the parties to satisfy themselves with regard to the accuracy, correctness, relevance, etc. of the translation filed in the Registry by the State of Uttar Pradesh as well as the translated copies of the Exhibits made available by the parties and point out their respective agreements/objections stating precisely the part of the translations on which objections/disagreements are being raised. Once the said process is completed, which we expect the parties to do within eight weeks from today, further orders will follow so that hearing of the cases can begin in the right earnest.”

The Court, also suggested that during this 8 weeks’ time a Court appointed and Court monitored mediation with utmost confidentiality could be initiated to bring a permanent solution to the issues raised in the cases. It, however, made clear that:

“the mediation suggested is only to effectively utilize the time of eight weeks that would be taken to make the cases ready for hearing.”

Bobde, J said:

“We may decide a property dispute but we are thinking more about healing relationships.”

The bench, however, refrained from passing any order on the said suggestion for now and said that it will pass order on March 6, 2019 on the issue whether Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute be referred to Court appointed mediator.

[M. Siddiq v. Mahant Suresh Das, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 272, order dated 26.02.2019]

(With inputs from The Leaflet)
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Supreme Court: After Justice UU Lalit recused himself from the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute title case famously known as the Ayodhya dispute, the Court adjourned the matter till January 29 for deciding the schedule of hearing. Justice UU Lalit recused himself from the matter after it was pointed out that he had represented former UP Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, in a related matter.

Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had formed a 5-judge Constitution Bench consisting of himself and Justice SA Bobde, Justice NV Ramana, Justice UU Lalit and Justice Dr. DY Chandrachud, after he along with Justice SK Kaul had ordered on January 4 that an “appropriate bench” constituted by it will pass an order on January 10.

Earlier on 27.09.2018, a Bench comprising of former CJ Dipak Misra and Ashok Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer, JJ., by a majority of 2:1, had held that the appeals concerning the Ayodhya (Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid) matter need not be referred to a larger Bench for consideration.

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Supreme Court: In a hearing that lasted for less than a minute, the bench comprising Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and S K Kaul, J said that an appropriate bench constituted by it will pass an order on January 10 for fixing the date of hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute title case famously known as the Ayodhya dispute.

Earlier on 27.09.2018, a Bench comprising of former CJ Dipak Misra and Ashok Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer, JJ., by a majority of 2:1, had held that the appeals concerning the Ayodhya (Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid) matter need not be referred to a larger Bench for consideration.

(Source: PTI)

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The Bench comprising of CJ Dipak Misra and Ashok Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer, JJ., by a majority of 2:1, held that the appeals concerning the Ayodhya (Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid) matter need not be referred to a larger Bench for consideration. Ashok Bhushan, J. delivered the majority judgment for CJ Dipak Misra and himself. While S. Abdul Nazeer, J. in his separate opinion was of the view that the matter should be referred to a larger Bench.

The present appeals were fixed for commencement of final arguments on 05-12-2017, when Dr Rajeev Dhavan, learned senior counsel appearing for the appellants submitted that the Constitution Bench Judgment of the Court in Ismail Faruqui v. Union of India, (1994) 6 SCC 360 needs reconsideration, hence the reference be made to a larger Bench. In Ismail Faruqui, while the Constitution Bench (per majority) upheld the validity of the Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act, 1993 except that of Section 4(3) of the Act which was struck down; it also made observations that a mosque s not an essential part of the practice of the religion of Islam and namaz (prayer) by Muslims can be offered anywhere, even in open. According to Dr Dhavan, the law laid down in Ismail Faruqui in relation to praying in a mosque not being an essential practice is contrary to both, i.e. the law relating to essential practice and the process by which essential practice is to be considered. Whether essential practice can be decided on a mere ipse dixit of the Court or whether the Court is obliged to examine belief, tenets and practices, is a pure question of law. He submitted that Ismail Faruqui judgment being devoid of any examination on the above issues, the matter need to go to a larger Bench.

The Court had to find out the context of observations made in the judgment which according to the appellant were questionable and to decide whether the said observations furnish any ground for reconsideration of the Constitution Bench judgment. After referring to a plethora of judgments, Ashok Bhushan, J. observed that the question as to whether particular religious practice is essential or integral part of the religion is a question, which has to be considered by considering the doctrine, tenets and beliefs of the religion. What Dr Dhavan contended was that the Constitution Bench in Ismail Faruqui, without there being any consideration of essentiality of a religion, made the questionable observations. It was observed from that the context for making the said observation was a claim of immunity of a mosque from acquisition. Whether every mosque is the essential part of the practice of religion of Islam, acquisition of which ipso facto may violate the rights under Articles 25 and 26, was the question which had cropped up for consideration before the Constitution Bench. The observation has been made to emphasise there is no immunity of the mosque from the acquisition. What the Court in Ismail Faruqui meant was that unless the place of offering of prayer has a particular significance so that any hindrance to worship may violate right under Articles 25 and 26, any hindrance to offering of prayer at any place shall not affect right under Articles 25 and 26. the observation need not be read broadly to hold that a mosque can never be an essential part of the practice of the religion of Islam.

As to the question of res judicata –the present proceedings being barred in light of the decision in Ismail Faruqui, the Court held that the issues which were involved in that case were validity of the Act of 1993. The issues which have been framed in the suits giving rise to the present appeals were different issues which could not be said to be directly and substantially in issue in Ismail Faruqui. On this count alone, the plea of res judicata as raised by the respondent was liable to be rejected.

While concluding, the Court held that the questionable observations made in Ismail Faruqui, as noted above, were made in context of land acquisition. Those observations were neither relevant for deciding the suits nor relevant deciding the present appeals. Therefore, the Court was of the considered opinion that no case was made out to refer the Constitution Bench judgment Ismail Faruqui for reconsideration. Hence, no case has been made out seeking reference of these appeals to a Constitution Bench of this Court.

S. Abdul Nazeer, J., in his separate opinion stated that he was unable to accept the view of the Justice Bhushan that no case had been made out seeking reference of the present appeals to a Constitution Bench of this Court. However, he was in respectful agreement with the opinion on the question of res judicata. Therefore, while concluding, considering the Constitutional importance and significance of the issues involved, he was of the opinion that following questions need to be referred to a larger Bench:

(a) Whether in the light of Commissioner, Hindu Religious Endowments, Madras v. Sri Lakshmindra Thirtha Swamiar of Sri Shirur Mutt, AIR 1954 SC 282 and other cases, an essential practice can be decided without a detailed examination of the beliefs, tenets and practice of the faith in question?

(b) Whether the test for determining the essential practice is both essentiality and integrality?

(c) Does Article 25, only protect belief and practices of particular significance of a faith or all practices regarded by the faith as essential?

(d) Do Articles 15, 25 and 26 (read with Article 14) allow the comparative significance of faiths to be undertaken?

As per the majority, it was held that the present appeal does not require to be referred to a larger Bench nor does the Ismail Faruqui case needs reconsideration. The matter was disposed of accordingly. [M. Siddiq v. Mahant Suresh Das, 2018 SCC OnLine SC 1677, decided on 27-09-2018]

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Supreme Court: The 3-Judge Bench comprising of CJI Dipak Misra, Ashok Bhushan, and S. Abdul Nazeer JJ. resumed with the proceedings on the ongoing Ayodhya matter dispute over the rights of the Hindu and Muslim community to build a temple or a masjid today.

Shia Waqf Board submitted to the Supreme Court that they want to settle the dispute by peace. They also stated that the custodian of the Babri mosque was a Shia and the Sunni Waqf Board or anyone else is not the representative of Muslims in India.

Senior Advocate Rajiv Dhawan said ‘Shia Waqf Board has no locus to speak in this case.’

‘No faith has the right to destroy a mosque. The fact that a mosque is destroyed does not conclude the argument of the right to prayer’: Rajeev Dhawan

Further, Dhawan placed his arguments on whether collateral issue decided by Court would constitute ‘Res Judicata’.

Shia Waqf Board: Matter need not be referred to Constitution Bench reiterates that it is ready to relinquish claims in the national interest.

The proceedings in the said matter to continue on 20-07-2018.

[Source: ANI]

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Supreme Court: In the Ram Janamabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, famously known as the Ayodhya matter, Senior Advocate Raju Ramchandran, appearing for Sunni Waqf Board asked the 3-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and AK Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ to refer the matter to a Constitutional bench. He said that “the issue needs larger consideration keeping in view that it is a national issue.”

Senior Advocate Harish Salve said:

“We are beyond 1992-1993. All that remains is a title dispute over property. It should be decided just like a title suit, and not on other grounds.”

The bench has listed the matter for further hearing on 15.05.2018.

On the last hearing, the Court witnessed a high voltage drama when Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan and Additional Solicitors Generals Maninder Singh and Tushar Mehta engaged in war of words.

Source: ANI