The Supreme Court fixed July 13 as the next date of hearing on the contentious Babri Masjid-Ram Temple land dispute case.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra on May 17 had heard submissions on behalf of Hindu groups that had opposed the plea of their Muslim counterparts. The plea said the 1994 verdict holding that a mosque was not integral to the prayers offered by the followers of Islam be referred to a larger bench.
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.
He had told the bench that the observations made in the land acquisition matter pertaining to the Ayodhya site had a bearing on the outcome of the title case.
However, the Hindu groups had said the issue relating to the observations that the mosque was not integral to Islam has already been settled and cannot be reopened.
During the course of the arguments, the Uttar Pradesh government sought to know why the belated concern over observations in the 1994 Islmail Farooqi judgment that Mosques are not essential for prayer in Islam is being raised. The Ayodhya appeals have been pending for the past 8 years in the Supreme Court and there was never a whisper of this. Why now, the counsel for the UP government asked.
The Bench said that no one is questioning the fact that a Mosque is essential to Islam. The question is whether prayer in a Mosque is essential, the Bench also said. Senior counsel Rajeev Dhawan said, if congregation part of Islam is taken away then a large part of Islam becomes worthless. Mosques are meant for congregation and prayer, he also submitted.
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.