NEW DELHI — The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Tuesday termed as misleading the petition of the Narendra Modi government in the Supreme Court seeking change in the status-quo of the 67 acres of the land in Ayodhya.
“This petition is actually a fraud that BJP is doing with its cadres and supporters. The central government knows it very well that there are three court stays on the entire 67 acres of land – one stay from the Allahabad High Court and two stays from the Supreme Court. Therefore, the whole land will remain government acquired till the final judgment in the Babri Masjid case, and the government knows it well” said Dr. SQR Ilyas, Convenor, Babri Masjid Committee of AIMPLB.
In a big move aimed at gaining electoral mileage over the Ayodhya dispute, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking its nod to hand over “surplus” “non-disputed” land around the disputed site in Ayodhya to Ram Temple Trust.
The 16th century Babri Masjid was razed to the ground by a Hindutva mob in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992. Through the Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act, 1993, the central government had acquired 67 acres of land in Ayodhya, including the plot of 2.7 acres where the mosque once stood. In 2003, the Supreme Court had ordered that the status quo be maintained with regard to the acquired 67 acre of land around the disputed site.
The AIMPLB leader pointed out that the central government is not a party to the title suit of the Babri Masjid. It has filed this petition in the Supreme Court only to please its cadres, vote bank and Hindu saints, he said.
“If the Supreme Court rejects the petition in the light of its previous orders, then the BJP government will tell the people that it tried its best but the Supreme Court is blocking its attempts and thus it will enrage the sentiments of the people against the Supreme Court so that pressure could be maintained on the title suit,” said Dr Ilyas.
For the past couple of months, the BJP leaders have on one hand been demanding the top court to give early verdict in the decades-old title suit and on the other have been pressurizing the Modi government bring an ordinance for construction of Ram Temple in view of the delay in the case.
Now the government has filed
In the petition, the Centre has urged the top court to “Permit the Central Government to restore/revert/hand over back superfluous/ excess vacant land (other than the disputed land admeasuring 0.313 acres) to the owners/occupiers from whom the respective lands were acquired under the Act of 1993.”
“This Hon’ble Court be pleased to modify the order dated 31.3.2003 passed in the captioned matters so as to enable the Central Government to determine the exact extent of land required from out of the superfluous / excess land to ensure that successful party in the dispute pending regarding the “disputed land” can have proper access to and enjoyment of rights in the disputed land. This applicant undertakes that each and every concern expressed by this Hon’ble Court in Ismail Faruqui (supra) and other judgments referred to above will be scrupulously taken care of,” reads the petition.