Modi govt moves SC for transfer of 'surplus' land at Ayodhya

Karsevakpuram Sanjoy Parts for the proposed Ram temple at Karsevakpuram | Sanjoy Ghosh

The election season is witnessing new moves from the BJP on the Ayodhya issue as the Narendra Modi government moved the Supreme Court on Tuesday to seek the transfer of the “non-disputed” land in Ayodhya to the Ram Janambhoomi Nyas. The Nyas is campaigning to build a Ram temple in Ayodhya.

The Modi government has filed a writ petition seeking the modification of a Supreme Court order of March 2003 to restore 'surplus' land around the disputed land at Ayodhya. The centre has sought the release of 67 acres of non-disputed land, of which about 2.77 acres is the disputed land. 

In recent months, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy had asked the Modi government to consider beginning construction of a Ram temple on 60.07 acres of land that the Central government had acquired soon after the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992.

The Supreme Court was set to hear the Ram Janmabhoomi case on January 29 but had to cancel the scheduled hearing as one member of the five-judge Constitution bench was not available. The sitting of the Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi stands cancelled as Justice S A Bobde will not be available on January 29, as per a notice issued by the Supreme Court registry.