New Delhi: The Supreme Court today made it clear that status quo ordered on 67 acre land adjacent to the disputed site in Ayodhya should not be disturbed while carrying out excavation activity in the vicinity.
"We are hopeful that this status quo will continue. While doing the excavation this status quo should not be disturbed," a bench comprising justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai said.
The remarks were made by the bench during the hearing of issues relating to a permission seeking to change the tarpaulin and ropes at Lord Rama's make-shift temple at the disputed site and to relieve two judicial officers appointed at the direction of the Allahabad High Court since 2003 to visit the place fortnightly for keeping it updated about the situation there in Ayodhya.
The Registrar of the High Court made an application stating that since the issues relating to the the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya was now before the apex court, the two judicial officers, who had been appointed as Commissioners on High Court order should be relieved from their duty.
The Commissioner, Faizabad District, also said there was a need for permission from the apex court for carrying out work relating to the tarpaulin and ropes at the make shift temple. The bench was told that earlier it was on the order of the High Court such works were done.
While posting the matter for hearing on 18 February, the bench said it may allow the prayers made in the applications but will not allow any more impleadment in the case.
"Change of tarpaulin, ropes etc can be allowed but nothing should change the status quo," the bench said.
The apex court had admitted several petitions challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict of three-way division of the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya.
It had stayed the operation of the 30 September, 2010 verdict of the high court.
The apex court on 9 May, 2011 had dubbed as "strange" the high court's verdict of three-way division of the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya and had stayed its operation saying none of the parties had demanded partition of the land.
While ordering status quo at the site, which means that prayers at Ram Lalla's make-shift temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya would be going on as usual, the Court had restrained any kind of religious activity on the adjacent 67 acre land, which had been taken over by the Centre.
All the parties to the suit had expressed satisfaction over the Supreme Court's May 9 order.