Apex court admits plea against Ayodhya verdict (Lead)

August 8th, 2011 - 7:22 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday admitted a petition by the Akhil Bhartiya Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Punaruddhar Samiti challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict in the Babri Masjid case, trifurcating the disputed site.

An apex court bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice R.M. Lodha, while admitting the petition, tagged it with the main case.

The Sunni Waqf Board, which opposed the plea, said the Samiti, headed by Shankaracharya of Jyotishpeeth and Dwarka Swami Sri Swaroopanand Saraswatiji Maharaj, was not a party before the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court concerning the main disputed site. The high court had pronounced its Ayodhya verdict Sept 30, 2010.

Appearing for the Waqf Board, counsel Anoop Chaudhary told the court that Samiti was before the high court in another matter which was dismissed and now cannot file an appeal in respect of the matter in which it was not a party before the high court.

At this, the court said that it was a single judgment wherein all the issues were addressed. It said that objections raised by the Waqf Board will be kept open and considered when it takes up the matter for hearing.

Counsel A.K. Ganguly, who appeared for the Samiti, contended that the plea of the Waqf Board was not accepted by the high court, yet they walked away with one third of the dispute site. He argued that if the Waqf Board can move the apex court and challenge the (high court) verdict, then the Samiti could not be excluded from the same.

The high court’s verdict last year had directed that the disputed site be divided in three parts between the three contending parties. The Supreme Court May 9, 2011 stayed the verdict, describing it as “strange and surprising”.

By the said verdict, the disputed site was trifurcated and was given to Waqf Board, the deity (Ram Lalla) and the Nirmohi Akhara. While the site right beneath the central dome of the demolished structure was to be given to the deity, the Ram Chabutara and Sita Rasoi was earmarked for Nirmohi Akhara and rest for the Sunni Waqf Board.

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