The Muslim appellants in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case on Thursday criticised the Uttar Pradesh government for taking a “non-neutral stance” in the Supreme Court.

They said that the State government had shed its promise of staying neutral in the Ayodhya land dispute.

The appellants were referring to arguments before a three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, in the previous hearing. On July 6, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for the State, had strongly objected to the appellants’ persistent plea for the case to be referred to a Constitution Bench.

Question on mosque

The appellants wanted a Constitution Bench to first decide the question whether a mosque is essential to Islam.

They questioned a line in the 1994 Supreme Court judgment in the Ismail Farooqui case, which said that Muslims can pray “anywhere, even in the open.”

They have argued that Islam would collapse without its mosques to congregate and pray.

Mr. Mehta had wondered why the appellants had raised this question eight years after the Ayodhya case came to the Supreme Court in 2010. He submitted that there was something “inherently wrong” with the request.

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