SC Declines Hearing Of Petition Seeking To Stop Screening Of The Film 'Ram Ki Janamabhoomi'
An urgent hearing of a petition seeking to stop the screening of the film ‘Ram Ki Janamabhoomi’ was declined today, March 28, by the Supreme Court. The film is scheduled to be released in theatres across the country on March 29, and the petitioner told the top court that screening of the film now will “affect the atmosphere as mediation is going on”.
Supreme Court declines petition
The bench, headed by Justice SA Bobde, said, “What is the connection with the mediation and the movie…no film can come in the way of mediation…we are not so pessimistic.” The court will hear the petition after two weeks.
‘Ram Ki Janmabhoomi’ has been directed by Sanoj Mishra, and is based on the controversial Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid issue.
Hearing a similar case, the Delhi High Court said on March 27 that for the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under the Constitution to survive, people will have to be more tolerant. This observation came during the hearing of a plea Yakub Habeebuddin Tucy filed, seeking to stop the film’s release. Tucy is a self-proclaimed descendant of Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar.
A formal mediation was ordered by the top court on March 8 in the Ayodhya case, as a path to solve the 60-year-old Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute. A five-judge bench that Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi headed said that the case was about “mind, heart and healing – if possible”, and not about property.
The mediation will be conducted by a three-member panel, including former Supreme Court judge, Justice FM Kalifulla, senior advocate Sriram Panchu, and spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The proceedings will be kept confidential and no reporting in the media will take place.
While most Hindu religious bodies, except the Nirmohi Akhara, have adamantly opposed the suggestion to go for mediation, Muslim religious bodies have supported the idea.
Four earlier attempts to solve the dispute through mediation turned out to be a futile effort.
The Ayodhya dispute
The Ayodhya dispute is a political, historical, and socio-religious debate in India. It is centred on a plot of land in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. The main issues revolve around access to a site traditionally regarded among Hindus to be the birthplace of 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 Ram Janmabhoomi debate climaxed on December 6, 1992, when a mob tore down the disputed 16th-century Babri mosque in Ayodhya claiming it to be the birthplace of Rama. The following months saw one of the most brutal Hindu-Muslim riots of post-Partition India, killing at least 2,000 and displacing many more.