Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had resisted pressure from pro-temple activists on Tuesday to complete the hearing before general elections 2019 by holding daily hearings in the matter.
“When they were asked when it will be taken up, they said: We have our own priorities,” said RSS General Secretary Suresh Joshi in a press conference today.
“We felt hurt that this is the way that he addressed an issue that is linked to the sentiments and beliefs of crores of Hindus. I think that the Hindu community feels insulted by this.
“If something linked to the beliefs of crores of people does not figure in the priority list of the court, it is very surprising and hurtful and because of that, today, the Hindu community feels insulted.
“We request the court not to take this matter like this, and to have a rethink on this. If you won’t take such issues, which generate so much emotions, on your priority list, then what will you take on your priority list,” he asked.
The Ayodhya Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid case revolves around the question of who owns a 2.8 acre piece of land in Ayodhya on which the Babri Mosque was built in 1528.
Some allege that the mosque was built over a previous Hindu temple, as was not unusual in those days.
They allege that the temple signified the birth place of Ram, who is revered as a god by Hindus, particularly in the Gangetic plain.
The case was earlier heard by the Allahabad High Court, which eight years ago ruled that the 2.77 acres of land be divided into 3 parts, with a third going the Hindu Maha Sabha for the construction of the Ram temple, a third going to the Islamic Sunni Waqf Board and the remaining third going to a Hindu religious denomination Nirmohi Akhara.
Former Chief Justice Dipak Misra had formed a new bench, comprising present chief justice Ranjan Gogoi and justices SK Kaul and Justice KM Joseph to take up the matter from this week.
There was also an expectation that the hearing would be expedited and a settlement could be reached before the election of May 2019, giving the ruling BJP a potential vote-winner.
However, Gogoi poured cold water over such hopes by postponing the hearings to early 2019.
“When the three-judge bench was set up, we thought it would come… Three new judges were named and 29 October was announced. We expected and wanted some good news before Diwali,” Joshi said.