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The dispute in the Supreme Court concerning the Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid issue has been adjourned for January 2019.
A Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph proceeded to order today that the case will be listed in January 2019 for fixing a date for hearing.
Due to Diwali holidays and Christmas / New year vacation, the Supreme Court will be working on 27 days from today till January 1, 2019.
The matter was listed before the aforementioned Bench after a 3-judge Bench gave a verdict on September 27 holding that the case need not be referred to a Constitution Bench.
A three-judge Bench comprising former CJI Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer had heard at length the issue concerning reference of the case to a Constitution Bench. The question which was considered by that Bench was whether the 1994 judgment of the Supreme Court in Ismail Faruqui v. Union of India should be revisited.
In the Ismail Faruqui judgment, the Supreme Court had held that while offering prayer or worship is a religious practice, offering prayer at every location where such prayers can be offered would not be an essential or integral part of such religious practice, unless the place has a particular significance for that religion.
The test of comparative significance, as it came to be called, was strongly opposed by Senior Counsel Rajeev Dhavan. Appearing for Sunni Waqf Board, Dhavan had submitted that every place of worship of every religion is entitled to protection and comparative significance cannot be used to resolve inter-faith disputes.