The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ayodhya trial

New Delhi, Jan. 30: The Centre is getting down to the task of finding a way to avert the crisis that could arise if the VHP sticks to its demand of handing over the “disputed” land in Ayodhya to the Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas before its dharam sansad starts here on February 22, reports our special correspondent.

Government sources said the law ministry would consider getting the hearing on a Supreme Court stay order on the Ayodhya land expedited.

The court order, passed shortly before the VHP threatened to carry out its shiladaan programme on the “disputed” temple-mosque complex last March, proscribed the organisation from indulging in any activity — symbolic or real — on the “disputed” and “undisputed” land.

The Centre hopes that an early hearing would enable it to obtain a clarification from the court on whether or not the stay was still operative.

The official interpretation was that the stay was valid for only six weeks after it was passed.

Depending on the clarification, the sources said, the government would consider its next move.

The sources said any of the parties involved in the litigation — the Centre, the Uttar Pradesh government or the Nyas — could move the court in this matter, adding that they would prefer the Uttar Pradesh government to take the step.

But that would depend on whether BJP-BSP coalition chief minister Mayavati obliges them or not, given the adverse reaction among her Muslim legislators when she refused to renew a notification that would have enabled a designated court to resume its hearing on the charges against deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani and the others in the Babri demolition case.

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