The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked BJP leader Subramanian Swamy to mention his plea, seeking enforcement of his fundamental right to pray at the disputed site in Ayodhya, after it pronounces its verdict on the question of whether mosques are integral to Islam. On July 20th, the special bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra reserved its order on a plea by Muslim groups of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute seeking reconsideration by a larger bench on the observations made by it in a 1994 verdict that a mosque was not integral to Islam.
For the past two months Subramanian Swamy was persisting before the Supreme Court for listing his case demanding fundamental right of worship at Ayodhya. However the Court has not giving a specific date for hearing Swamy’s petition. On Wednesday, after the Supreme Court gave a time frame, Swamy Tweeted the decision by the Apex court was “fair enough”:
Today SC heard me briefly on urgency to list my WP on Ram Temple. Court said that after the judgment on whether to re- examine the earlier settled view (of Mosque not being essential part of Islam) is given, I can ask for date. Fair enough.
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) July 25, 2018
M Siddiq, one of the original litigants of the Ayodhya case who has died and is being represented through his legal heir, had assailed certain findings of the 1994 verdict in the case of M Ismail Faruqui holding that a mosque was not integral to the prayers offered by the followers of Islam.
The bench, which also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, asked Swamy to seek listing and urgent hearing of his plea on right to pray after the pronouncement of verdict in the main matter. Swamy had moved the apex court seeking enforcement of his right earlier as well.
Swamy, at whose insistence the sensitive land dispute case in Ayodhya was fast-tracked, had filed a separate petition stating that he had a fundamental right to offer hassle-free prayer at the birthplace of Lord Ram. The special bench of the apex court has a total of 14 appeals filed against the high court judgment delivered in four civil suits. A three-judge bench of the Allahabad High Court, in a 2:1 majority ruling, had in 2010 ordered that the land be partitioned equally among three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
For the eight years, the appeal was pending before the Supreme Court without any movement. The case got revived after Subramanian Swamy approached the Supreme Court with petitions claiming fundamental right of worship and seeking basic amenities for the pilgrims coming to Ayodhya for prayer. The Bench which heard these petitions tagged Swamy’s petition with the main matter.
But recently, the Bench headed by Dipak Misra said they will only hear the main matter relating to title dispute and dismissed many petitions and transferred again Swamy’s petition to another Bench, which is not yet constituted. Now the main matter will resume only after the decision on whether to send the matter on Mosques are integral part of Islam raised by Muslim petitioners challenging 1994 landmark judgment to a Constitutional Bench. Chief Justice Dipak Misra is retiring on October 2 and the question discussed in the legal circles is that the main matter on property rights can be finished by the current Bench headed by the Chief Justice of India. If the matter is not finished, the politically sensitive case will go to a new Bench, leading to further delays.