SC refuses to revisit 1994 judgement linked to Ayodhya dispute

The Supreme Court said it was necessary to consider the context in which the five-judge bench had delivered the 1994 judgement, thus clearing the way for hearing in the Ayodhya temple-mosque dispute without further delay.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to revisit the observations in its 1994 judgement that the mosque is not integral to Islam, clearing the way for hearing in the Ayodhya temple-mosque dispute without further delay.


The country’s apex court said that it would not review an earlier verdict, delivered in 1994, about whether a mosque is fundamental to the practice of Islam.

“The Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi civil suit has to be decided on the basis of evidence and the previous verdict has no relevance to it,” the bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said.

The court said it was necessary to consider the context in which the five-judge bench had delivered the 1994 judgement.

“The ruling at the time was only related to acquisition of land. All religions, all mosques and temples churches are equal. We have already noticed all religious planes are liable to be acquired as per the 1994 verdict,” Justice Misra said.

The issue whether a mosque is integral to Islam had earlier surfaced when the three-judge bench headed by CJI was hearing the batch of appeals filed against Allahabad High Court’s 2010 verdict by which the disputed land was divided in three parts.

The HC had ordered that the 2.77 acres of land be partitioned equally among three parties — Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla (Lord Ram temple).

Muslim parties said the 1994 decision was unfair to them. They said the 1994 verdict had affected the status of mosques in Islam and the question should be answered before the court goes into the main title dispute.

They also said the 1994 verdict which said that ‘namaz’ can be offered anywhere would un-fairly influence the matter of who the disputed site belonged to.

Meanwhile, the top court said the civil suit on land dispute will now be heard by a newly constituted three-judge bench on October 29 as Justice Misra will retire on October two as Chief Justice of India.

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