New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India Thursday refused to revist its 1994 verdict that said mosques are not essential part of Islam and prayers can be offered anywhere. In the same verdict, the Apex Court had said a government can acquire land that a mosque is built on if required.
"The ruling will not be referred to a larger bench", the Supreme Court said.
Earlier, it was reported that the three-judge bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer will be reading two separate opinions in the case.
"The finding of the 1994 ruling that a mosque is not integral to Islam was made in context of the State's right acquire land under eminent domain", Justice Bhushan said.
Justice Bhushan has authored a judgment for himself and CJI Misra while Justice Nazeer has penned his own opinion. The above ruling was read by Justice Bhushan on behalf of CJI Dipak Misra and him.
Justice Nazeer dissents
"I disagree with my brother judges", Justice Nazeer said.
"What is essential to religion as laid down in [in the 1994 ruling] was arrived at without comprehensive examination, needs to be re-examined in detail," he added.
During today's ruling, the Supreme Court of India also decided that the Ayodhya title dispute will be heard by a three-judge bench of the apex court and the hearing will start from October 29 onwards.
The Muslim organisations wanted the 1994 SC ruling revisited saying that it was unfair to them and that this decades-old decision played a role in the disputed land in Ayodhya being divided in 2010 into three parts by the Allahabad High Court which split the land between Hindu and Muslim parties, though the main part was given to Hindus.
The 16th century Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was demolished in broad day light on December 06, 1992. A series of riots in different parts of India including Mumbai which continued for months erupted after the demolition of Babri Masjid.
Hindu extremists, including many leaders associated with the RSS, VHP and BJP, were involved in the demolition of Babri Masjid and the anti-Muslim riots that followed.
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