Global Legal Innovation Advisory,
A very unique and complex civil dispute. A case where god was a party. According to Hindu philosophy, "Idols are the breathing image of God himself". Therefore, Lord Ram was considered to be a juristic person and made a party to the dispute.
It is very important to understand the unanimous judgment of 2019 properly and I am happy that the dispute which has been going on since 1858 is finally resolved.
The primary 'question of law' before the Supreme Court was that of the title suit and possession of the disputed land. Thus, the SC had a very limited scope of ascertaining the dispute. The civil suits of Nirmohi akhara and Shia Waqf board were rejected and this made Sunni Waqf board and 'Lord Rama' as the main parties to the dispute. Sunni Waqf board argued that the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment was decided on the basis of faith and belief rather than law, and the Hindu Mahasabha appearing for "Lord Ram" argued that the Sunni Waqf has neither been able to establish title nor possession of the disputed land and hence should not be allowed 1/3rd of the disputed land.
The Sunni Waqf board relied on the concept of 'adverse possession' to establish their claim. However, if we read the history of the dispute we have access to loads of evidence that is circumstantial as well as conclusive in proving that the possession was and has always been challenged by the Hindu worshippers. We have access to accounts of German Jesuits visiting Ayodhya and citing that the land is worshipped by the Hindus, the 'East Indian gazetteer of Hindustan', historians accounts, etc. The recorded evidence demonstrates that the Hindu pilgrimage to the shrine was uninterrupted and in 1958, a formal British official intervention allowed the Hindu pilgrims to worship on the dais outside the mosque. Historically, the mosque was referred to as "Masjid-e-Janmsthan" or "Mosque of the place of birth" also the Kotwali or the police station in that area was (British India) and still is referred to as "Kotwali janamsthan" or "Police station of the place of birth". The concept of adverse possession can be established if for 12 years there is no objection to the said possession, which was clearly not the case in this instance.
FOCAL POINT: THE ASI Report
The Supreme court accepted the report of ASI to be authentic. The Archaeological Survey of India's report in 2003 proved that there was an existing temple below the mosque, however, it could not be proved whether the mosque was built by demolishing the temple or not. That is beside the point, I will reserve my comments on the legal aspect of the case rather than jumping into the systematic destruction of Hindu culture in the Medieval ages. The ASI report was challenged by certain historians outside the court on media portals but when they were called to submit their witness evidence, they reiterated to the ASI report to be legitimate.
Finally, the Supreme court for the foregoing pronounced that the entire disputed land belongs to the Hindu Mahasabha. Also, I would like to apologise to my fellow Indian-Muslims about the demolition of the Babri mosque. That was an act of cowardice and no words are necessary nor will suffice to compensate for the loss of a religious monument.
I welcome the judgment but would like to urge my fellow Indians to live in harmony and peace. India belongs to all Indians irrespective of what religion they adhere to. I am happy that the politicisation of this issue will end.
Jai Hind! Jai Sri Ram!
(This is an opinion piece and the views expressed are the author’s own. Internationalism Editorials neither endorses nor is responsible for them).