Is a Mosque an essential party of Islam? This is a question of law that the Supreme Court would examine while adjudicating the sensitive Ayodhya dispute.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra said that it would examine if a five-judge Bench was required to go into the question, whether a Mosque was integral to Islam. The Bench, however, turned down a request to refer the original dispute to a larger Bench.
When some of the advocates asked why should only one part be referred to the larger Bench, the court said that it was necessary to put the controversy to rest first.
The Supreme Court had in 1994 in the Islmail Fauqui case said that Mosque is not an essential part of the practice of Islam and namaz by Muslims can be offered anywhere. Accordingly, its acquisition is not prohibited by the provisions of the Constitution, the Court had also said.
Senior counsel Rajeev Dhawan, however, said that the Fauqui case was wrongly decided by the Supreme Court. He said that the verdict contradicted an earlier SC judgment which had stated that a Mosque is forever and it does not lose its significance and remains a place of worship even if it is demolished.