The Supreme Court hearing on Ram Temple case commenced today on 29th October. However, defying the expectations and to certain extent the common sense, the Supreme Court adjourned the hearing on Ayodhya case until January 2019. Despite the Court’s earlier promise that the hearing would be fast-tracked, the verdict today is baffling. Once again, the deferring of verdict on the Ram Temple would in a election year would lead to politics on the issue by various stakeholders.
In a major development, the Supreme Court, by 2:1 majority verdict, had refused to refer Ayodhya-Ram Janmabhoomi land dispute case to a larger bench, in September this year. The judgment categorically stated that Mosque is not essential to Islam. The verdict had cleared the way for speedy adjudication of the dispute.
In the judgment dated September 27, Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Ashok Bhushan made it clear that the observations made in paragraph 52 of Dr M Ismail Faruqui versus Union of India judgment that mosque was not an essential part of Islam and Namaz can be offered anywhere have to be understood in the specific context of land acquisition proceedings. It also observed that any religious place cannot enjoy immunity from compulsory acquisition, and the observations with respect to mosque were made in that context.
This judgement was a landmark in cementing the claim of the supporters of the Ram Mandir as there is ample evidence to back up the claims of that the Ram Mandir did indeed exist at the disputed site. A property dispute will invariably go in the favour of the Hindus as the many reports which have come out regarding the issue in the past have conclusively proven the existence of a temple on the site prior to the construction of the mosque. The issue has already been going on for too long and the SC bench addressed this issue too in its verdict by refusing to drag the case for longer.
This confounding stance of Supreme Court on the issue is going to further complicate the matter of Ram Temple with the invariable political issues attached with it. In the wake of this legal stalemate, the government must exercise the executive privilege and brings an ordinance for the construction of the Ram temple. In order to initiate the construction of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, many BJP leaders pitched the idea of taking ordinance route. Last month, UP CM Yogi also hinted about the possibility. The BJP leader Uma Bharti had also called for the amendment to the Constitution for the construction of a Ram Mandir. Some non-BJP members had also spoken about bringing an ordinance to build Ram Mandir.
For now, it seems ordinance is the only way towards Ram temple and the government must act before its too late.