New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday turned down the plea to refer the Ayodhya land dispute to a Constitution Bench.
The court said it will take a decision on referring Ayodhya case to larger bench only after hearing all parties to the litigation.
Senior lawyer Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for a Muslim party, had asked the top court to refer the case to a larger bench.
The 1994 Faruqui verdict had dealt with the constitutional validity of the Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act, 1993 by which the Centre had then taken over the disputed site and the adjoining land.
"First, we should put this controversy (on 1994 verdict) to rest. We may refer the entire or parts of the judgement to larger bench," the special bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer said.
Terming the observations of the verdict as crucial, senior lawyer Rajeev Dhavan said it needed to be reconsidered by a five-judge bench and without rectifying these anomalies on aspects like the position of mosques in Islam, in the judgement, the civil appeals cannot be decided effectively.
Dhavan cited a judgement and said, "It is quite a different matter that the area is now acquired. Can you say that if a mosque is destroyed it ceases to be a mosque." He submitted that the 1994 judgement had said that the fundamental right to worship does not extend to place of worship.
The Babri Masjid was constructed in 1528 and it is a religious structure of extreme importance for the Muslims.
The special bench of the apex court is seized of a total of 14 appeals filed against the high court judgement delivered in four civil suits.
A three-judge bench of the Allahabad High Court, in a 2:1 majority ruling, had in 2010 ordered that the land be partitioned equally among three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.