File photo of the Supreme Court. Photograph:( Zee News Network )
The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it will decide if the Babri mosque is indeed an integral part of Islam. The court's comments came during a hearing on the Ayodhya case where senior lawyer Rajeev Dhavan, appearing on behalf of the Sunni Waqf Board - one of the parties in the case - cited a previous judgement of a constitutional bench which said the mosque is not an integral part of Islam.
The court's decision will determine whether Muslims can continue holding prayers at the site where mosque once stood. The three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra also refused to send the case to a five-member Constitution Bench as demanded by the Muslim organisations. The next hearing will take place on March 23.
At the hearing today, the Supreme Court also dismissed all interim pleas seeking to intervene as parties in the sensitive Babri Mosque-Ram temple land dispute case.
A special bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S A Najeeb accepted the contention that only original parties to the dispute be allowed to advance arguments in the case and the intervention applications of unrelated persons seeking impledment as parties be rejected.
This means that the Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and Shri Ram Lala Virajman are the only parties.
The apex court also rejected the plea of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy seeking to intervene in the ongoing matter.
The court, however, ordered revival of Swamy's disposed of writ petition in which he had sought enforcement of his fundamental right to worship at Ram temple on the disputed site in Ayodhya.
"I had filed a writ petition saying that I have a fundamental right to worship and this is a superior right than property right," Swamy said.
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.