Ram Temple: Legally speaking, why ordinance route is the only option
New Delhi, Nov 5: The clamour to take an ordinance route in the Ram temple issue is growing louder. The Sangh, while criticising the Supreme Court for delaying hearing on the matter has said that the government must explore the ordinance route.
On the last date of hearing, the Supreme Court had adjourned hearing on the matter to January. The court made it clear the hearing in the case would not commence in January, but a Bench would be set up, which in turn would decide on the date of hearing.
The government is expected to bring about an ordinance and also summon a special session of Parliament ahead of the Winter Session. Once this is done, the construction of the temple is expected to begin in six weeks time, sources tell OneIndia.
The ordinance route:
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.
Pending for seven years:
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?
Nothing prevents an ordinance:
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.