Ayodhya case: what lawyers argued in Supreme Court

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Sri Bhagwan Ram Virajman: Strict codes of evidence should be relaxed in this case as worshippers believe the spirit of Sri Ram pervades/resides in the Asthan. The unshakeable faith of the believers is itself evidence that the Asthan is the birthplace of Rama.

Here, Justice S.A. Bobde asked senior advocate K. Parasaran, the lawyer for Ram Lalla Virajman, the deity in Ayodhya: “Whether Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem… Has such a question ever arisen in any court?”.

Senior advocate C.S. Vaidyanathan, also for the deity, pointed out that travelogues of foreigners like the missionary, Joseph Tiefenthaler and others like William Finch, Montgomery Martin and so on talk about the history of Ram and ruins of a temple in Ayodhya. It shows that the belief of the people about the holiness of the place remained undisturbed despite various invasions and other influences and happenings.

Hindu Mahasabha: The first Mughal emperor, Babur, was an invader and the law could not be used to “institutionalize” the rights of an invader. Advocate Hari Shankar Jain, for the Mahasabha, said the “black days of slavery are behind us and we are living in a civilized society”.

Shia Waqf Board: Babri Masjid was a Shia waqf (endowment) and their Sunni counterpart, who has been at the front lines of the 70-year-old Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute, were mere interlopers led by “hardliners, fanatics and non-believers” who did not want an amicable settlement with the Hindu sects involved.

Nirmohi Akhara: The Akhara argued it had been managing the Ramjanmabhoomi and receiving offerings from worshippers. It submitted that the “Asthan of Janam Bhumi was of ancient antiquity”.

The Akhara, represented by senior advocate Sushil Kumar Jain, submitted that Muslims had stopped offering regular prayers at the Babri mosque in 1934 when there was a riot. The Akhara argued that the mosque had literally ceased to be one since 1934. Only Friday prayers were offered there from 1934 till December 22, 1949. The idols were placed inside the mosque on the intervening night of December 22-23 of 1949.

Sunni Central Waqf Board, U.P.: Muslims have exclusive titles over the land and the Hindus were given only prescriptive rights to enter and pray at the Ram Chhabutra. They sought the restoration of the property to what it was prior to December 1992. Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan said the idols were placed surreptitiously by the Hindus in the intervening night of December 22-23, 1949. They said there was not any direct evidence to show that the disputed land was the birthplace of Lord Ram.

Senior advocate Meenakshi Arora, also for the Board, argued that the findings of the archaeological excavations did not show one structure but several constructions spread over different eras. It is not that of a single massive structure as claimed by the Hindus.

“Even the Hindus were conquerors. There were thousands of conquests in history… How are they different from the conquests of Muslims?” Mr. Dhavan asked.

(Courtesy: The Hindu)