The Ram Temple jinx in SC; Why it is better to take the ordinance route now
New Delhi, Jan 28: Call it jinx or ample hints, the ordinance route appears to be the only way to go about the Ayodhya issue. It began with one of the judges recusing himself from hearing the case.
After this, a new Bench was constituted and hearing on the matter was scheduled for Tuesday. However due to the unavailability of Justice S A Bobde, hearing will not take place tomorrow.
The Ayodhya dispute has been on for nearly 6 decades now. Despite an order of the Allahabad High Court, the matter has not been resolved. The HC had ordered that the land be split four ways in a bid to resolve the issue. However none of the parties were happy with the order, following which an appeal was preferred in the Supreme Court.
In the SC, the matter has been pending for nearly 8 years now. When the matter had come up last year, a question of law was posed before the Bench. The question was whether a Mosque is essential to Islam.
While hearing appeals against the order of the Allahabad High Court on the Ram Janmabhumi issue, the Muslim appellants had requested the court to revisit a 1994 SC verdict which had held that a Mosque is not an essential part of Islam. The 1994 verdict in the Ismail Faruqui case had also said that namaz could be offered anywhere by Muslims.
The appellants said that this question of law must be answered before the SC goes into the main title suit. The court could either hold the contention in the 1994 correct or decide to revisit it. The SC however upheld the Faruqi verdict and paved the way to hear the original appeals.
Another plea was filed before the court of the Chief Justice of India seeking an early hearing into the matter. However CJI, Ranjan Gogoi refused to take up the matter out of turn. In January a new Bench was constituted to hear the matter.
When the matter came up for hearing, one of the advocates pointed out that one of the judges on the Bench, Justice U U Lalit had appeared for Kalyan Singh in a connected matter. Justice Lalit then recused himself from hearing the matter, following which another Bench was constituted.
A new comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer was constituted. The court had directed the registry to keep all documents ready by January 28 so that it could hear the matter.
However on Sunday, the registry issued a circular stating that the matter would not be heard on Tuesday due to the unavailability of Justice S A Bobde.
Now a fresh date would have to be fixed, following which the hearing would resume. The BJP would want a resolution to the issue before the polls are held. The party is under pressure to take the ordinance route instead of waiting for an order from the Supreme Court.
Sources say that an ordinance route is likely and some announcement would be made soon. The government has been contemplating a major announcement ahead of the elections. It could either bring out an ordinance on the Ram Temple and make it a major poll issue.