Matter should be solved as soon as possible: Ravi Shankar Prasad on Ayodhya case

Patna: A day after the Supreme Court cancelled the hearing in the Ayodhya title suit case due to the unavailability of one of the judges, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday said that the matter should be solved as soon as possible.

The top court cancelled the hearing in the case slated for January 29 by a five-judge bench due to the unavailability of one of the judges, Justice SA Bobde.

On Friday, the apex court had constituted a new five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice Abdul Nazeer, Justice SA Bobde and Justice DY Chandrachud.

In response to a question, Prasad told media here, “I don’t want to comment on this. But I would like to say that a huge mass of the country wants a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya. We often say that this matter should be solved constitutionally”.

He added, “I would like to say as a citizen of India and not as the Union Law minister that the Ram Janmabhoomi matter is pending since last 70 years. Allahabad verdict was mainly in favour of Ram Janmabhoomi. The appeal is also pending since last 10 years. This matter should be solved as soon as possible”.

Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Abdul Nazeer were brought in to replace Justice UU Lalit and Justice NV Ramana as both of them was a part of the three-judge bench, headed by former CJI Deepak Misra, which refused to refer the matter to a five-judge Constitution bench by a 2:1 verdict in September last year.

The three-judge bench had ruled that the apex court would hear the issue purely as a “land dispute”, dismissing a plea to reconsider the apex court’s 1994 judgement that a mosque was an integral part of Islam.

In 2010, the Allahabad High Court had divided the disputed land in Ayodhya into three parts for each of the parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.