Ayodhya title dispute hearing to begin on October 29 as SC declines to refer 1994 case observations to larger bench

SC on Thursday said that the apex court observations in the 1994 case, which said that a mosque was not integral to Islam, will not be sent to a larger bench for reconsideration.

Ayodhya title dispute hearing to begin on October 29 as SC declines to refer 1994 case observations to larger bench

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday paved the way for the hearing to begin in the Babri Masjid-Ram Temple title dispute case. The apex court said that a newly constituted three-judge bench will on October 29 begin hearing the Ayodhya civil suit.

The Supreme Court in a majority judgement on Thursday said that the apex court observations in the 1994 case, which said that a mosque was not integral to Islam, will not be sent to a larger bench for reconsideration. The SC was giving a verdict on a batch of pleas by Muslim groups who had sought reconsideration of the observations.

While Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Ashok Bhushan gave a majority opinion that the observations in paragraph 52 of Ismail Faruqi judgment that mosque was not an integral part of Islam have to be understood in the context of land acquisition proceedings, Justice Abdul Nazeer dissented. 

Justice Nazeer said whether mosque is integral to Islam has to be decided considering belief of religion and it requires detailed consideration. He referred to the recent Supreme Court order on female genital mutilation and said the present matter be heard by a larger bench.

The issue whether mosque is integral to Islam had come up when the three-judge bench headed by CJI Misra was hearing a batch of appeals filed against the Allahabad High Court's 2010 verdict by which the disputed land on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid area was divided in three parts.

A three-judge bench of the high court, in a 2:1 majority ruling, had ordered that the 2.77 acres of land be partitioned equally among three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. 

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