In what seems to be a big blow to Sunni Waqf Board, the Supreme Court of India has rejected the Waqf Board’s plea in the long-standing dispute over the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case. The judgment comes right a day before the 25th anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition.
A special bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer has been constituted, which is slated to hear a total of 13 cases against the 2010 judgment of the Allahabad High Court in four civil suits.
Alleging the civil suit may take more than a year and might even affect the general elections of 2019, the Sunni Waqf Board had argued for a postponement of the hearing till a later date in 2019. However, the apex court of India rejected the plea, arguing that if the Allahabad High Court could pass a judgment in 90 days, why couldn’t the same be done by the SC.
It is to be noted that the Congress leader Kapil Sibal is advocating for the Sunni Waqf Board, which wants the hearing to be postponed till the general elections in 2019. According to BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao:
This is a ploy by the Congress to link the Ram Mandir issue with elections.
Today a surprising stand was taken in SC by Congress leader and Sunni Waqf Board lawyer Kapil Sibal ji, he said hearing should be deferred till after 2019 LS polls.Congress should clear its stand on this: Amit Shah pic.twitter.com/qDdtpDcq4F
— ANI (@ANI) December 5, 2017
However, Congress leader Brijesh Kalappa defended his party’s ploy and said that Kapil Sibal is appearing for his client as a lawyer at the Supreme Court and this has nothing to do with the party.
It might be recalled that BJP MP Subramanian Swamy had been one of the prime personalities, who attempted to raise the issue of fundamental right of religion of the Hindus under Article 25 of the Constitution. However, many of the original defenders of the case, including Mohammad Hashim – who was the first person to take the matter to the Supreme Court – have passed away.
The dispute was originally handled by the Allahabad High Court, which had passed a ruling in 2:1 majority that the entire stretch of disputed land be divided between the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla, the three important parties entwined in the case.
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has also submitted English translation of exhibits and documents likely to be relied upon – which are in eight different languages – as per direction of the apex court.