New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court and sought the apex court’s permission to return the 67-acre acquired land around the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site to its original owners.

In a fresh plea, the Centre said it had acquired 67 acres of land around the 2.77-acre disputed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid site.

The government wants the removal of the status quo on the non-disputed land.

The government wants to hand over this land to the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, a trust founded by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to promote and oversee the construction of the Ram temple.

The plea filed by the Centre said that the Ram Janambhoomi Nyas had sought the return of excess land acquired in 1991 to the original owners.


Ayodhya background

Earlier, the apex court had ordered that the status quo be maintained with regard to the acquired 67-acre of land around the disputed site.

The central government in 1991 had acquired 67-acre land around the disputed site.

Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land be partitioned equally among three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The Centre’s decision comes shortly after the Supreme Court further postponed the hearing of the title suit due to the non-availability of Justice SA Bobde, one of the five judges of the Constitution bench.

Union minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday disapproved of the slow pace of hearing on the Ayodhya title suit by the top court and appealed to it for an “expeditious decision” as had been done in the matters related to adultery and Sabarimala temple.

With PTI inputs