India's Supreme Court on Monday suspended a ruling that divided a holy site in the northern town of Ayodhya between Hindus and Muslims, news reports said.
A high court bench in September had ordered that the site, a flashpoint of religious tensions for decades, be split into three parts with one portion going to Muslims and the others to Hindus.
The Supreme Court criticized the ruling and said the high court had overstepped its authority by ordering the partition.
"This (ruling) is very strange and surprising," the court said, according to the NDTV network.
"Nobody has prayed for the partition of the area. The high court has given a new relief which was not sought by anybody."
The 15th-century Babri mosque at the Ayodhya site was pulled down by Hindu fanatics in 1992, sparking widespread riots in which more than 2,000 people died.
Hindus claim a temple to their god Ram predated the mosque and want to build a new temple at the site.
The Supreme Court's observations came upon separate appeals by Hindu and Muslim groups that challenged the high court verdict.
The court is expected to take up the case when it reopens in July after its summer recess, the report said.
After the high court judgement, Muslim bodies had appealed against the verdict, saying it was not based on documentary evidence and that the disputed site was a mosque which should be given to Muslims.