SC reiterates status quo on Ayodhya's Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court today made it clear that status quo ordered on 67 acre land adjacent to the disputed site in Ayodhya should not be disturbed while carrying out excavation activity in the vicinity.

"We are hopeful that this status quo will continue. While doing the excavation this status quo should not be disturbed," a Bench comprising Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai said.

The remarks were made by the Bench during the hearing of issues relating to a permission seeking to change the tarpaulin and ropes at Lord Rama's make-shift temple at the disputed site and to relieve two judicial officers appointed at the direction of the Allahabad High Court since 2003 to visit the place fortnightly for keeping it updated about the situation there in Ayodhya.

The Registrar of the High Court made an application stating that since the issues relating to the the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya was now before the apex court, the two judicial officers, who had been appointed as Commissioners on High Court order should be relieved from their duty.

The Commissioner, Faizabad District, also said there was a need for permission from the apex court for carrying out work relating to the tarpaulin and ropes at the make shift temple.

The Bench was told that earlier it was on the order of the High Court such works were done.

While posting the matter for hearing on February 18, the Bench said it may allow the prayers made in the applications but will not allow any more impleadment in the case.

"Change of tarpaulin, ropes etc can be allowed but nothing should change the status quo," the Bench said.

The apex court had admitted several petitions challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict of three-way division of the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya.

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