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Lift ban on religious activity in acquired
land in Ayodhya: Centre to SC
February 06, 2003 07:29 IST
Within hours of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's meeting with the Kanchi Shankaracharya, the Centre moved the Supreme Court seeking vacation of its order banning any kind of religious activity in the 77 acres of land in Ayodhya acquired by the government after the demolition of the Babri mosque in 1992.
The application, filed by the government on Tuesday, sought vacation of the apex court's March 13, 2002 order, by which on the eve of the controversial shila daan ceremony organised by the VHP, the court had banned any 'kind of religious activity, including shila daan' in the acquired undisputed land.
Seeking early hearing of a petition filed by Mohammed Aslam alias Bhure on which the Supreme Court had passed the interim stay order, the government said as peace prevailed in the area, the ban order could be lifted.
While passing the interim order, the court had directed listing of the main petition after 10 weeks, the government said. It pointed out that the 10-week period has elapsed and the petition should, therefore, be listed for early hearing.
Aslam, in his petition, had alleged that the proposed shila daan ceremony was nothing but an attempt by the VHP and other religious groups to disturb the peace in the area.
He expressed apprehension that the VHP would attempt to bring in construction material as well as gather a large number of people to start construction activity on the acquired land.
The decision to file an application before the Supreme Court seeking lifting of the stay was taken immediately after Vajpayee met Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati on Tuesday.
The Shankaracharya is also reported to have discussed the move with Union Law Minister Arun Jaitley.
A former Union minister and BJP Rajya Sabha member told rediff.com that the central government wants the apex court to expedite litigation pertaining to the 43 acres of land, which the Ram Janambhoomi Nyas (trust) claims is 'undisputed'.
The aim is to facilitate smooth handing over of the 'undisputed land' to the RJN and demonstrate the Centre's will to solve the problem.
The government, the BJP leader said, is also exploring the possibility of handing over the 'undisputed land' to the trust by an executive order or legislation in Parliament.
The issue shot to prominence after the VHP threatened to launch a people's movement if the Centre failed to hand over the disputed land in Ayodhya to the RJN by February 23.
With inputs from Shahid K Abbas in New Delhi