Pending the Supreme Court’s final verdict in the Ayodhya dispute, and in view of the approaching Diwali festival, the Ayodhya District Magisterial Court, presided by Magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha, has imposed Section 144 in Ayodhya. The said Section 144 bars any gathering which is more than four people.
According to the Magistrate Court, the imposed Section 144 shall remain effective until the 10th of December.
The politically sensitive Ayodhya dispute – Babri Masjid-Ram Janmbhoomi land dispute – is still being heard by the five-Judge Supreme Court Bench, presided over by Ranjan Gogoi, the Chief Justice of India.
The dispute constitutes 14 appeals filed before the Supreme Court against the Judgment of the Allahabad High Court, delivered in 2010 in four civil suits, which are concerned with the partitioning of the 2.77 acre land in Ayodhya, amongst Sunmi Waqf Board, Ram Lalla, and Nirmohi Akhara.
Hearing in the case began on the 6th of August, and the Supreme Court has conducted a day to day proceedings in the case. However, due to the week-long Dussehra break, proceedings were stalled.
The deadline for the prolonged hearing, in this case, has been revised and fixed to be concluded by the 17th of October, with the likelihood of the final verdict being delivered by 18th of November.
Interestingly, this restriction imposed by the Magistrate Court has been made at the time the Hindu Hardline Organization VHP announced that it will celebrate the Diwali festival with Ram Lala in the sanctum.
Bari Masji Haji Mehboob has, however, objected to this announcement and has stated that if VHP is allowed, he will proceed to the disputed site and read the Namaz there.