The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed ‘Nirvani Akahara’ to file a written note seeking the “right to manage worship of the deity” as ‘shebait’ (devotee) at disputed site in Ayodhya, even as the three-day period granted by the top court to file response on moulding of relief was over. ‘Nirvani Akahara’, is one of the Hindu parties in the politically sensitive case of Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya.
Senior advocate Jaideep Gupta, appearing for the ‘Nirvani Akahara’, told a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that his client “miscalculated” the 3-day time granted by the court for filing the written note on moulding of relief. The bench accepted the plea of ‘Nirvani Akahara’ and allowed it to file its written note saying, “You file it now.”
Both ‘Nirmohi Akahara’ and its rival ‘Nirvani Akahara’ are seeking right to manage and offer ‘puja’ at the birthplace of deity ‘Ram Lalla Virajman’ at the site. While ‘Nirmohi Akahara’ had filed a lawsuit in 1959 seeking the right as ‘shebait’, ‘Nirvani Akahara’ has been made a party (defendant) in two separate lawsuits filed by Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Wakf Board and deity ‘Ram Lalla’, through next friend Deoki Nandan Agrwal, in 1961 and 1989 respectively.
“It is humbly submitted that none of the parties (amongst) Hindus in the aforementioned suits have made claims...for shebaitship right and are instead claiming either as the owner or as a next friend (of deity) ...and thereby seeking to build a temple at the disputed structure.
“Hence the ‘pujari’ and/or ‘shebaitship rights of the present respondent (Nirvani Akahara) remained unchallenged...,” the written note said. The Akahara has sought a direction that it be handed over the “right to manage the worship of the deity of the Ram Janambhoomi/disputed structure as the ‘pujari’ and/or ‘shebait’ of the deity”.
Earlier on October 16, the Supreme Court on Wednesday concluded the hearing in the politically sensitive Ayodhya land dispute case and reserved its final judgment. The top court has asked all the contesting parties to submit their written response on moulding of relief in the next three days. The moulding of relief means narrowing down the issues on which the court is required to adjudicate.
A five-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, heard the arguments in the Ayodhya land dispute matter for 40 days. The Supreme Court is now expected to pronouce its verdict by the end of next month. However, Hindu Mahasabha lawyer Varun Sinha claimed that the top court said that the order will be pronounced within 23 days.