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Nirmohi Akhara moves Supreme Court against Centre’s Ayodhya 'surplus' land return plea

The Centre on Jan. 29, asked the apex court to allow it to restore the acquired "superfluous" excess land adjacent to the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid area to its rightful owners

April 09, 2019 12:12 pm | Updated 10:18 pm IST - New Delhi

Mahant Dharam Das, chief Mahant of Nirmohi Akhara, outside the Supreme court after the Ayodhya title suit case hearing in New Delhi. File photo

Mahant Dharam Das, chief Mahant of Nirmohi Akhara, outside the Supreme court after the Ayodhya title suit case hearing in New Delhi. File photo

Nirmohi Akhara, one of the main contenders in the Ayodhya title dispute appeals, objected to the Centre’s plea in the Supreme Court to return ‘superfluous’ land acquired around the disputed 0.313-acre Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid area to its rightful owners.

A total of 67.703 acres of land, including the 0.313 acres of disputed area, was acquired by the Centre in 1993 “to maintain communal harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst the people of India.”

‘Fraudulent deed’

The Centre had identified Ram Janm Bhoomi Nyas, a religious body, as one such land owner from whom a huge swathe was acquired. The Nyas had lost 42 acres, according to the government.

 

Now, Nirmohi Akhara has alleged in the apex court that the Nyas was established on the basis of a ‘fraudulent deed.’ It said the land which the Centre wants to release to the Nyas was actually leased to it by the State government to develop a park — Ram Katha Park.

The Akhara said the ‘excess’ lands acquired under the Ayodhya Acquisition Act has several temples belonging to it. These temples were ‘demolished’ by the then Kalyan Singh government under a notification.

The release of these lands now by the government would frustrate the final outcome of the appeals pending in the apex court.

The acquired lands are held in trust by the Centre for the beneficial enjoyment of the ultimate successful party in the suits. Provided the Akhara wins the appeals, the entire land would be required by it for “better implementation of the outcome of the suits between the parties and to ensure that the success of the applicants remains meaningful.” It would want the restoration of its properties and temples.

Akhara, it said, is after all the “main contesting party seeking Shebaiti rights to manage the properties relating to Bhagwan Shri Ram Lalla Virajman and Asthan Ram Janmabhoomi.”

“If the undisputed land is released and returned, it would frustrate the object and purpose of the acquisition,” the Akhara argued.

The government had argued that the ‘superfluous’ land acquired could be released after mapping out the “exact extent of land” necessary for the future winner of the Ayodhya title dispute to gain proper access to the 0.313 acres where the Babri Masjid structure once stood.

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