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Centre working on consensus, govt tells SC
Security ring around Ram temple
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, August 29
The Centre today told the Supreme Court that it was trying to evolve a consensus among political parties on the issue of providing an “iron curtain” security ring to the makeshift Ram temple at Ayodhya with a view to making its protection foolproof.

The Union Government, which had earlier filed an application for court’s permission to make certain constructions for providing the security ring around the shrine, sought six weeks’ time to inform it about the progress made on evolving a consensus so that work on the project could start.

Additional Advocate General Gopal Subramaniam told a Bench of Mr Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Mr Justice G.P. Mathur and Mr Justice R.V. Raveendran that the Union Government was also negotiating the issue with the Uttar Pradesh Government.

The question of consensus apparently arose after the government moved the apex court in the sensitive matter as some Muslim organisations, including the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board — which is a party to the Ayodhya dispute before the Allahabad High Court — had opposed the move.

The government move was seen by them an attempt to recognise the existence of Ram temple, which had been contested in a suit before the High Court by the Muslim Personal Law Board.

Meanwhile, the court has reserved its judgement on a petition by a Delhi-based citizen, Mohammed Aslam Bhure, for review of Supreme Court’s 2002 order upholding the decision of transferring of all cases pertaining to Babri Masjid demolition to Chief Judicial Magistrate Rae Bareilly after the Allahabad High Court had struck down the setting up of a special court in Lucknow to hear the cases in absence of sanction from it.

The main objection was raised by Bhure’s counsel O.P. Sharma with regard to transfer of the case relating to FIR No. 198, which included names of eight top Sangh Parivar leaders, including L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiyar, Ashok Singhal, Vishnu Hari Dalmiya and Sadhvi Ritambhara.

Mr Sharma claimed that the High Court order, quashing the appointment of Special Judge at Lucknow to hear the case of FIR No. 198 against these leaders, was wrong as no separate notification for appointment of the judge was required because there already existed two notifications earlier that would have covered this case also.

The CBI, after the change of government, had also taken a different stand that all cases needed to be tried in a consolidated manner at Lucknow.

Mr Subramaniam admitted that in the High Court’s order, the contentious notification of September 9, 1993 had only been referred to as a “letter” from the government and not a notification.

When the Bench pointed out that the constitution of the Rae Bareilly court was also as per the law, Mr Sharma said there was no need to transfer the case and the High Court’s finding on illegality of Special Court in Lucknow was not correct.





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