What impact will Centre’s plea to return excess land have in the Ayodhya case
New Delhi, Jan 30: The move by the Centre to seek permission before the Supreme Court to return 67 acres of land it had acquired around the disputed land in Ayodhya to the original owners has become a debating point.
There have been at least three stay orders on the entire 67.703 acre land- two by the Supreme Court and one by the Allahabad High Court. In all the three stays, it has been stated that till the time the final order is made on the title suit, the entire land cannot be disposed off.
OneIndia caught up with S Q R Ilyas, who is a member of the All India Muslim Law Personal Law Board and also part of the Babri Masjid Action Committee to understand the Centre's move behind filing this affidavit.
Ilyas says that the land which the Centre has sought permission to return cannot be touched in the wake of a stay order. He says that when the land was acquired in 1993, it was said that a Mandir, Mosque and a pilgrimage place would be set up there.
The issue came up before the Supreme Court in the Ismail Faruqi case. The court asked the government whether it would provide sufficient land and access to the disputed site if the case went in favour of the Muslims. The Centre said that it would do so.
When the Centre was asked if the Muslims do not win the title suit, would the government give land to the Muslims to which the Centre said yes, Qureshi also said.
Qureshi said that the land that the Centre wants to return is very much part of the title suit and hence cannot be touched. The Supreme Court has made it very clear that the land cannot be touched until the title suit is decided.
On what ramification, such an application would have, Qureshi said that this is a political move. The Centre is trying to say that it is trying to get the land. It is basically an explanation that the BJP led government is giving to its supporters.
There has been restlessness on this issue and also too much hype that has been surrounding it, Qureshi also points out. The way the Supreme Court is moving on the matter, it appears that there will be no judgment anytime soon. It may take some more years before the matter is finally decided, he also says.
The ordinance route:
When asked if the government would opt for an ordinance route, Qureshi feels that the option may not be opted for. The title suit is pending in the Supreme Court and hence no ordinance can be brought about.
Further he also says that a secular government cannot bring about an ordinance on this issue. Moreover the government has also made it clear that it would not explore anything to this effect.
Moreover the government has said in the past in the court that it would give land to construct a Mosque if the Muslim parties do not win the case. There is no question of returning the land as proposed by the Centre unless and until the title suit is decided.
On the inordinate delay in the Supreme Court regarding the hearing on the title suit, Qureshi says that this is a regular custom. There are so many cases pending for so long.
He also says that when Justice Dipak Misra was the Chief Justice of India, he had made it clear that the court was in no hurry. This is a title suit and such matters take up a lot of time, Qureshi further explains.
On whether he sees a resolution to the issue anytime soon, he laughs and says he does not think the matter would be sorted out soon. If you carefully look at the papers, everything goes in favour of us and hence this issue would be prolonged, he also says.