SC dismisses 19 Ayodhya review pleas

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court (SC) Thursday dismissed a batch of petitions seeking review of its November 9 Ayodhya land dispute case verdict which cleared the way for construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site.

The top court, which took a total of 19 review pleas for consideration in-chamber, rejected them after finding no ground to entertain them.

“Applications for listing of review petitions in open court are dismissed. We have carefully gone through the review petitions and the connected papers filed therewith. We do not find any ground, whatsoever, to entertain the same. The review petitions are, accordingly, dismissed,” a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said while rejecting ten out of 19 pleas filed by original litigants to the title dispute.

The apex court, which also considered the nine petitions filed by “third parties” that were not part of the original litigation, denied them permission to file review petition in the matter.

“Applications for permission to file review petitions are dismissed. In view of the denial of permission to file review petitions, applications for listing of review petitions in open court as well as review petitions are rejected,” said the bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan, S A Nazeer and Sanjeev Khanna, while dismissing the pleas filed by “third parties”.

Among the ten original litigants whose review petitions were dismissed, eight were filed by the Muslim parties which includes those supported by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board.

It is significant that key Muslim litigant, Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board, had decided not to seek review of the unanimous November 9 verdict.

Nirmohi Akhara and Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha were the two Hindu bodies whose review pleas were rejected by the bench.

Among the nine “third parties” were 40 rights activists who had jointly moved the top court seeking review of its verdict.

With the dismissal of these review pleas, the parties to the litigation are left with legal recourse of filing curative petition only.     

A curative petition is the last legal recourse in the apex court for curing the defects and is also heard in-chamber unless a prima facie case is made out for reconsideration of the verdict.

A five-judge bench, headed by the then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, had in a unanimous verdict on November 9 decreed the entire 2.77 acre disputed land in favour of deity ‘Ram Lalla’ and also directed the Centre to allot a five-acre plot to Sunni Waqf Board for building a mosque in Ayodhya.