The plea filed in the apex court on Monday alleged that Parliament has no legislative competence to acquire land belonging to the state.
A petition was filed in the Supreme Court on Monday challenging the constitutional validity of the Acquisition of Certain Area At Ayodhya Act, 1993. This comes days after the Centre moved the top court with a petition asking to return the “non-disputed” surplus land acquired around the disputed structure in Ayodhya to a Hindu trust and other original owners.
The surplus land was acquired by the government under the Acquisition of Certain Areas of Ayodhya Act, 1993 which provides for the acquisition of certain area at Ayodhya and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
In its application, the Centre had sought modification of the apex court order of March 31, 2003 by which it was directed to maintain the “status quo” with regard to entire land including the non-disputed acquired plots
“The applicant (Centre) is filing this application seeking permission of this court to permit the applicant to fulfil the duty to revert/restore/hand over the excess/superfluous land acquired under the Acquisition of Certain Areas of Ayodhya Act, 1993,” it said.
The plea filed in the apex court on Monday contended that Parliament has no legislative competence to acquire land belonging to the state.
The plea, filed by a group of lawyers claiming to be devotees of Ram Lalla, submitted that state legislature has the exclusive power to make provisions relating to the management of affairs of religious institutions inside its territory.
“As such the land and property situated at Ayodhya continued to the property of the State of Uttar Pradesh. The Union cannot take over any part of the land of the State of Uttar Pradesh including the land and property situated at Ayodhya,” the petition said.
It has sought striking down of the central law and the declaration that the Act was “beyond the legislative competence of Parliament”.
It also said that the law, by which the entire disputed and adjoining undisputed land was acquired, violated the freedom of the Hindus to practice their fundamental religious rights under Article 25 of the Constitution