Pending in SC, can government take ordinance route on Ram Temple?
New Delh, Jan 2: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that an ordinance on the construction of a Ram Temple could be explored only after the legal process is completed.
The matter is pending in the Supreme Court and the issue would be taken up on January 4. On the last date of hearing the court had said that on January 4, the Bench would decide on the date of hearing. This would mean that it would still be months before a final verdict on the issue is out.Recently BJP lawmaker, Subramanian Swamy has said that the government can enact an ordinance of ownership of a 2.77 acre plot of land in Ayodhya, which is considered by many to be the birth place of Lord Ram.
Swamy has said that the government can pass a law and then hand over the land to an eminent body of religious leaders, especially those versed in Agama Sastra, with a direction to build the Ram Temple.
The Allahabad High Court had seven years ago split ownership of the site, three ways with the Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and For Ram Lalla getting a third each. There were appeals filed and have been pending before the Supreme Court since the past seven years.
The question is whether the BJP led NDA government can take the ordinance route and ensure that the temple is built. Can this be done, considering the fact that the Supreme Court is seized off the matter?
Advocate, K N Phanindra tells OneIndia that there is nothing that prevents the government from taking the ordinance route. What the government needs to do is take out the fundamental basis. The ratio laid down by the court and the fundamental basis or foundation needs to be taken out when an ordinance is passed, he also adds.
He further adds that if an ordinance is passed, then the hearing in the Supreme Court virtually becomes infructuous. He however adds that such an ordinance can be challenged in the court. Phanindra goes on to add that while the government has every right to do so, the timing would be crucial as jumping the gun on such issues could be dangerous also.
Swamy while stating that the government has the Constitutional right to take the ordinance route, also suggested that the existing claimants can be duly compensated for their loss of their claim on the title of the land.
However enacting an ordinance is not an easy matter. Firstly it cannot be done, when the legislature is in session. Secondly the circumstances under which the ordinance is promulgated mattes. Article 123 of the Indian Constitution says that if at any time, except when both Houses of Parliament are in session, the President is satisfied that the circumstances exist which render it necessary for him to take immediate action, he may promulgate such an ordinance as the circumstances appear him to require.