The Supreme Court has said that it will examine if the 1994 judgment that held offering prayers in a mosque was not an essential part of the practice of Islam and that prayers can he held in open, needs to be sent to large bench for reconsideration.
According to a report in The Indian Express, the court ruled out sending the entire title suit to a larger bench, and underlined that it cannot compel the parties involved in the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute to arrive at a settlement.
A three-judge bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices Ahok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer said: "After due deliberation, we have thought it appropriate that we should hear Dr (Rajeev) Dhavan, learned senior counsel appearing in one of the appeals on behalf of the appellants, whether the judgment in Dr M Ismail Faruqui requires reconsideration…. We must immediately make it clear that our addressing the said issue shall singularly relate to whether this bench should think the dictum in Dr M Ismail Faruqui…requires reconsideration."
The report quoted the bench as saying: "may pass appropriate orders for placing the matter before a five-judge bench for consideration".
A five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by then CJI M N Venkatchalliah, had in 1994 held, "under the Mohammedan Law applicable in India, title to a mosque can be lost by adverse possession…. If that is the position in law, there can be no reason to hold that a mosque has a unique or special status, higher than that of the places of worship of other religions in secular India to make it immune from acquisition by exercise of the sovereign or prerogative power of the State. A mosque is not an essential part of the practice of the religion of Islam and namaz (prayer) by Muslims can be offered anywhere, even in open."
Accordingly, the court had then held, "its acquisition is not prohibited by provisions in the Constitution of India."
On Wednesday, the newspaper report added, the CJI Misra-led bench also rejected all applications by people seeking to intervene in the case after the parties to the suit opposed all such interventions.