Wednesday, March 26, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

SC refuses writ against excavation

New Delhi, March 25
The Supreme Court today refused to entertain a writ petition challenging the Allahabad High Court order for excavation of the disputed site to determine whether a temple existed at the place where Babri Masjid stood before demolition.

When the writ petition filed by Naved Yar Khan came up for hearing, a Bench comprising Mr Justice S. Rajendra Babu and Mr Justice G.P. Mathur said: "We will not take up a writ petition against a high court order.”

"You can file a Special Leave Petition and seek permission of the court to challenge the high court order,” the Bench said referring to the objections raised by the registry on Mr Khan’s petition.

While giving one-week time to the petitioner to “cure the objections”, the Bench said no writ petition could be entertained against a high court order.

The Allahabad High Court, during the hearing of the suits claiming ownership over the 2.77 acres of disputed land, had on March 5 directed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to carry out excavation of the disputed site to ascertain whether a temple existed before the Babri Masjid, which was demolished by a mob on December 6, 1992.

Mr Khan submitted that as a Muslim his fundamental rights were affected by the high court’s order directing the excavation of the disputed site.

The Bench said no fundamental rights were involved in a matter being decided on the basis of the suits and then suggested to the petitioner that he should cure the defects pointed out by the registry.

The petitioner then sought one-week time to do the needful and the Bench granted him the time requested for.

Mr Khan, in his petition, stressed that the order of the high court was violative of the Supreme Court’s 1994 directive to maintain status quo at the disputed site. PTI


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