SC tags plea challenging land acquisition law with main Ayodhya case

SC tags plea challenging land acquisition law with main Ayodhya case
Highlights

The Supreme Court on Friday tagged with the main matter challenge to 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict on title suit a plea challenging the 1993 central law for the acquisition of Ayodhya land, including the disputed site

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday tagged with the main matter -- challenge to 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict on title suit -- a plea challenging the 1993 central law for the acquisition of Ayodhya land, including the disputed site.

Tagging the plea with the main matter, a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna said the plea would be heard along with the main matter on the next date of hearing.

A group of Lucknow residents, including two lawyers, Shishir Chaturvedi and Sanjay Mishra, describing themselves as devotees of Lord Rama, have moved the top court challenging the acquisition of the land at Ayodhya.

The petitioners have contended that the Parliament has no legislative competence to pass a law taking over/ acquiring the land belonging to the state as it squarely falls within the exclusive domain of the state legislature.

The state legislature has exclusive powers to make provision relating to the management of the affairs of religious institutions working in the state, the petition added.

The petition also contended that The Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act, 1993, infringed upon Article 25 of the Constitution guaranteeing freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion.

The petitioners have sought direction to restrain the Central and Uttar Pradesh governments from interfering in puja, darshan and performance of rituals at places of worship "situated within the land admeasuring 67.703 acres acquired ... particularly at the land belonging to Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, Manas Bhavan, Sankat Mochan Mandir, Ram Janmasthan Temple, Janki Mahal and Katha Mandap."

The Centre had on January 29 moved the top court seeking its nod for giving a part of the 67 acres of undisputed land to Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas and other original owners.

The Centre had moved the top court for the modification of its March 31, 2003 order, directing the observance of status quo on the acquired 67 acres of undisputed land.

The Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas owns about 42 acres of the undisputed land out of the 67 acres which was acquired way back in 1993.

The Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas had approached the government seeking the return of the 42 acres of land which the Centre in its application on Tuesday described as "superfluous."

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