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My Right to Pray Superior to Waqf Board's Right to Property, Says Subramanian Swamy

The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to refer to a five-judge Constitution bench the issue of reconsideration of the observations in its 1994 judgment that a mosque was not integral to Islam, which had arisen during the hearing of Ayodhya land dispute.

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Updated:September 27, 2018, 4:30 PM IST
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My Right to Pray Superior to Waqf Board's Right to Property, Says Subramanian Swamy
File photo of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.
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New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy on Thursday said he would move the Supreme Court on Friday for an early listing of the Ram Janmabhoomi issue, adding that his fundamental right to pray overrides the Sunni Waqf Board’s “inferior” right to property.

The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to refer to a five-judge Constitution bench the issue of reconsideration of the observations in its 1994 judgment that a mosque was not integral to Islam, which had arisen during the hearing of Ayodhya land dispute.

“It is my fundamental right to pray,” Swamy said, adding that the “Sunni Waqf Board can try whatever it wants”, referring to a review petition.

In a majority verdict of 2:1, the apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the civil suit has to be decided on the basis of evidence and the previous verdict has no relevance on it.

Justice Ashok Bhushan, who read out the judgement for himself and the CJI, said it has to find out the context in which the five-judge had delivered the 1994 judgement.

Justice S Abdul Nazeer disagreed with the two judges and said whether mosque is integral to Islam has to be decided considering belief of religion and it requires detailed consideration. He referred to the recent Supreme Court order on female genital mutilation and said the present matter be heard by larger bench.

The apex court said now the civil suit on land dispute will be heard by a newly constituted three-judge bench on October 29 as Justice Misra will retire on October 2 as the CJI.

Refusing to consider the Supreme Court ruling a “setback”, senior advocate and AIMPLB member Zafaryab Jilani said, "The judgment of 1994 has perhaps been cleared." He also refused to reply to Swamy's statement on the ruling.

Rajiv Dhawan, the petitioner's counsel in the Ayodhya title suit case, said: “The majority judgment will please the majority, while the minority judgment will please minority. The very problem we started off with hasn't been resolved. (It’s) Not about arithmetic, but about convincing everybody that the Supreme Court should've spoken in one voice.”

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi too said the Ayodhya matter should have been referred to a Constitutional bench. Owaisi said the Masjid was an essential feature of Islam and the judiciary could not decide what was essential to the religion.

However, Vishwa Hindu Parishad working president Alok Kumar said he was “satisfied that this impediment has been defeated” and the way was “now clear for the hearing of Ram Janmabhoomi appeals”.
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