New Delhi: Adjudication of the politically sensitive Ayodhya land dispute case will be delayed as the Supreme Court on Friday said it will first decide whether the apex court’s 1994 decision that a “mosque is not an essential part of Islam” needs to be re-examined by a Constitution bench.
“A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer said it would examine whether a five-judge bench was required to go into the question of whether a mosque was integral to Islam, but they turned down the demand that the 70-year-old legal battle between Hindu and Muslim communities over ownership of the nearly 3 acres of Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi disputed land be also referred to a larger bench” , a report published in Times of India said.
“First, we must put the controversy (over whether mosque is essential to Islam) to an end,” the report quoted the bench as saying.
Earlier, the bench had referred to the decades-old legal battle as a mere “land dispute,” mentioned the report.
“The SC had said in its ‘Ismail Faruqui case’ of 1994, a mosque is not an essential part of the practice of the religion of Islam and namaz (prayer) by Muslims can be offered anywhere, even in the open. Accordingly, its acquisition is not prohibited by the provisions in the Constitution of India,” the report said.