Ayodhya : The three judge special bench of the Supreme Court on Monday ordered to replace the two judges posted as observers at the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya.
Hearing the plea moved by the Allahabad high court seeking to replace the two judges appointed to ensure status quo at the Babri site, the two judges – T. M. Khan and S. K. Singh – were appointed by the Allahabad high court in March 2003, during the excavation conducted by archaeological survey of India (ASI) at the disputed site.
These observers were appointed by the Allahabad high court after complaints filed by Muslim parties against the ASI team for malfunctioning and the non-maintenance of status quo as ordered by the Supreme Court.
The special bench of the Supreme Court constituted to hear the title suit of Babri Masjid/Ram Janmabhoomi – Chief Justice of India Deepak Mishra, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice Ashok Bhushan passed the order accepting the plea of the high court and the bench ordered the chief justice of the Allahabad high court to appoint two judges of district judge/additional district judge rank posted in the surrounding districts of Ayodhya-Faizabad within the next ten days.
Senior advocate of Allahabad high court, Rakesh Diwedi, on September 4 had informed the Supreme Court about the two appointed judges – Singh had been elevated to high court and Khan had retired.
The three judges special bench of the apex court will start the hearing in the case on December 5, 2017, the eve of 25 years of the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992 in Ayodhya.
Reacting to the judgement, Zafaryab Jilani, the convener of the Babri Masjid Action Committee, said, “there was no need of removing the two judges, Singh and Khan, as both were having depth knowledge of status quo and under the supervision of both judges the business at the disputed site was going through,” adding, “The new judges who will be appointed as observers, if we find any partiality in their work, we will then definitely go to the Supreme Court.”