India

Ayodhya case: Petition filed in top court challenging constitutional validity of GoI’s acquisition of land

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A petition was filed in the Supreme Court of India on Monday challenging the constitutional validity of  the Acquisition of Certain Area At Ayodhya Act, 1993. This arrives after the Government of India moved the top court with a petition asking to return the “non-disputed” surplus land acquired around the disputed structure in Ayodhya to a Hindu trust and other original owners.

The disputed land’s issues revolve around access to a site traditionally regarded among Hindus to be the birthplace of the Hindu deity Rama, the history and location of the Babri Mosque at the site, and whether a previous Hindu temple was demolished or modified to create the mosque.

The GoI acquired the surplus land under the Acquisition of Certain Areas of Ayodhya Act, 1993 which provides for the acquisition of certain area at Ayodhya and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

The GoI, in its application, had sought modification of the apex court order of March 31, 2003 by which it was directed to maintain the “status quo” with regard to entire land including the non-disputed acquired plots.

“The applicant (Centre) is filing this application seeking permission of this court to permit the applicant to fulfil the duty to revert/restore/hand over the excess/superfluous land acquired under the Acquisition of Certain Areas of Ayodhya Act, 1993,” it said.

The petition plea alleged that Parliament has no legislative competence to acquire land belonging to the state.

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