SC rejects all review petitions in Ayodhya verdict

New SC bench to take up any review plea on Ayodhya verdict

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected all the in-chamber review petitions challenging the November 9 verdict in the Ayodhya title dispute.

On November 9, the apex court had allocated the disputed site for the construction of Ram temple and granted five-acre land to Muslim parties for the construction of mosque elsewhere in Ayodhya.

The new five-judge bench was headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde and comprises Justices Ashok Bhushan, SA Nazeer, DY Chandrachud and Sanjiv Khanna.

Justice Khanna is the new judge on the bench who has replaced retired Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

The in-chamber review began at 1:40 pm by circulation of petitions. A total of 18 review petitions were filed in the apex court in connection with its November 9 judgement -- nine parties were part of the earlier litigation and the remaining have been filed by third parties.

The bulk comprised review pleas from Muslim parties expressing discontent with the judgement.

On Wednesday, the Nirmohi Akhara also filed a review seeking clarification on its role and extent of representation of Nirmohi Akhara in the trust directed to be created through the apex court judgement.

The Akhara contended that the extent of its role is not spelt out in the direction and is instead left to the Central government. The Akhara also sought restoration of other temples outside the 2.77 acres disputed site.

The first review plea was filed on December 2 in the top court by Maulana Syed Ashhad Rashidi, the Uttar Pradesh president of the Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind and legal heir of original litigant M Siddiq. On December 6, five petitions, supported by All India Muslim Personal Law Board, were also filed. The Peace Party of India also filed a review on the same day taking the total to six petitions.

On December 9, a review was filed by the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha and the other filed by 40 persons, including academicians and activists who jointly petition the apex court seeking the review of its November 9 judgement.

"The faith of one of the communities was consequently regarded higher than the other, thereby violating the secular principle embedded in the Constitution", said the petitioners.

Rashidi sought review of the verdict on 14 counts. He said the verdict condoned the illegal acts and also sought an interim stay on the operation of it. The apex court had directed the Centre to form a trust within three months for construction of the temple at the site.

The Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha sought cancellation of the five-acre plot to Sunni Waqf Board for building a mosque in Ayodhya.

(With inputs from IANS.)