SC ousts Subramaniam Swamy and activists from Ayodhya dispute

Team SoOLEGAL 15 Mar 2018 12:37pm

SC ousts Subramaniam Swamy and activists from Ayodhya dispute

 New Delhi: A three judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising of  Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer in an interim order in highly sensitive Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi disputed plot case rejected intervention application filed by controversial BJP leader Subramanian Swamy and  17 others.Also rejected were applications  filed by 32 eminent persons, including renowned filmmaker Shyam Benegal, actress Aparna Sen, columnist and writer Anil Dharker and social activist Teesta Setalvad who suggested that the disputed land be put to “secualr use” rather than dividing it on religious lines.

Arguing in SC ,the parties to the dispute, the Sunni Wakf Board and plaintiffs belonging to Muslim community, deity Ram Lalla through guardian Nirmohi Akhara and Uttar Pradesh government said in one voice  that this was a dispute between them and these interveners had no role in the hearing of appeals in which they  have  challenged the September 30, 2010 judgment of Allahabad high court. The court had ordered a three-way equal division of the land between Sunni Wakf Board, the deity and Nirmohi Akhara.

Swamy incidentally was instrumental in putting the dormant Ayodhya dispute  pending in the SC for seven years on the front burner when he requested the SC on March 21 last year for an early hearing of the matter .Infact on hearing his plea the then CJI J S Khehar-led bench made an unusual proposal for mediating  for an amicable negotiated settlement.

But the hype subsided just 10 days later, as on March 31 last year, the bench expressed its anguish at Swamy for not revealing that he was not a party to the land dispute but a mere intervener. On August 11, the SC fixed December 5, 2017 for commencing hearing, but on that day, forceful protests were made against early hearing  by counsel who suggested that it be listed after July 2019 on the ground that it should be dealt with after the next Lok Sabha elections. It came up for hearing again on February 8 and the SC fixed hearing on March 14.

After rejection of his intervention application, Swamy forcefully argued that it was the court which had converted his petition, seeking protection of his fundamental right to worship Lord Ram at his birthplace in Ayodhya, to an intervention application in the main Ayodhya land dispute case. He argued that his fundamental right was superior to the parties’ right over land. “If you are not permitting my intervention, then revive my writ petition,” Swamy said.

The bench agreed to this and revived Swamy’s petition and said it would be heard separately by “an appropriate bench”. That comforted Swamy. However, the bench’s firmness not to entertain any non-party before the HC as an intervener saw strenuous attempts by senior advocate C U Singh to keep alive the application filed by 32 eminent persons seeking secular utilisation of the disputed land instead of building a temple or a mosque.

Singh said the country had seen the horrendous effects of communalisation of the issue and these eminent persons suggested a “middle path”. The bench asked, “How can a middle path be found in a land dispute?” With the dismissal of all intervention applications, the SC will now hear only those who were parties before the HC in the title suits.

Tagged: SC   Allahabad High Court   Ayodhya Dispute   Subramanian Swamy  
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