A worker polishes a model of a temple at the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas workshop in Ayodhya on December 6, 2018. | Photo Credit:AFP
The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed as “absolutely frivolous” a plea to protect ancient remains and artefacts recovered during excavation and levelling of land at Ramjanmabhoomi in Ayodhya for Ram temple construction.
A Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra ordered petitioners, including Satish Chindhuji Shambharkar, represented by senior advocate Menaka Guruswamy and advocate Prashant Dahat, to pay ₹1 lakh each in costs.
Justice Mishra said the petitions were a ruse “to get rid” of the November 19 verdict of the court in the Ayodhya case in which the title for Ramjanmabhumi went completely over to Hindus. The court threatened to order a CBI probe against the petitioners.
The petition said “the remains, artefacts, antiquities and monuments” recovered from the Ramjanmabhumi site in May 2020 at the time of levelling, digging and excavating should be acquired from the Chairman, Ram Janmabhumi Teerth. They should then be protected and conserved as per the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.
“The artefacts which are found during digging and levelling of land are under grave apprehension of being destroyed, damaged or modified. There is a likelihood that the similar monuments shall be unearthed during the process of levelling and excavating the land and therefore, directions for supervision of excavation by the Archeological Survey of India”, the plea stated.
On November 9, settling a fractious issue that goes back more than a century, the Supreme Court in a historic verdict backed the construction of a Ram temple by a trust at the disputed site in Ayodhya, and ruled that an alternative five-acre plot must be found for a mosque in the same town.
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