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Ayodhya row

Mumbai, Oct. 3 (PTI): Bombay High Court today allowed the Samajwadi Party to file submissions on its petition seeking contempt action against VHP leaders Ashok Singhal and Praveen Togadia for their alleged utterances on the disputed land in Ayodhya.

Singhal and Togadia had recently said in Hardwar that they shall not be bound by any courtís verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi dispute as it was beyond justice, the Samajwadi alleged.

The petition, filed by Samajwadi state unit general secretary Sham Sunder Arya, said the utterances of the VHP leaders attracted contempt of court.

and hence the permission of advocate general Goolam Vahanvati was sought to initiate proceedings under the Contempt of Court Act.

Vahanvati, however, refused to grant consent for contempt proceedings on the ground that the Ayodhya dispute was pending in the Supreme Court and Allahabad High Court and hence Bombay High Court was not concerned with the matter.

The advocate general added that the alleged remarks of the VHP leaders were made in Hardwar and hence Bombay High Court had no territorial jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Justices R.M. Lodha and Dilip Bhosale asked Samajwadi counsel P.A. Sebastian whether the high court was empowered to review the decision of the advocate general declining consent under Section 15 of the Contempt of Court Act. As the counsel sought time to cite case laws, the court adjourned the petition to October 21.

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