Conclusion and Reasons of Ayodhya Verdict Mutually Destructive: Justice Ganguly

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A public meeting on the legal consequences of the Ayodhya Judgement was held in New Delhi on Monday. — Photo by Caravan Daily

Waquar Hasan | Caravan Daily

NEW DELHI — Raising serious questions over the Ayodhya verdict, former Supreme Court judge AK Ganguly pointed out the inherent contradictions and inconsistencies in the judgment, and said “the conclusions in the judgment are not matched by the reasons cited, rather they are mutually destructive.”

Justice Ganguly was addressing a public meeting on the consequences of the Ayodhya Judgement of the Supreme Court, held by the South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre at India International Centre here on Monday. Commenting on the Ismail Faruqi judgement in which it was held that the mosque was not an essential part of Islam, he said that everybody was shocked over this observation. In his humble opinion, it was “an absurd view.”

Referring to the Supreme Court’s other judgements in which it accepted the demolition of the mosque as a serious crime, the former judge said that despite all this, the court gave over the land, in effect, to the Hindu side.

“The Supreme Court was shocked by the enormity of the crime and gave extraordinary directions. Is this an act of possession and an act of better possessory title? The court’s directions are binding on the CBI. Now, the central government has been directed to frame a scheme for a temple on the same plot of land where a mosque stood and on the demolition of which the Supreme Court had directed a trial with such seriousness,” he noted.

Ganguly, who was chairperson of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission, said the present judgement was replete with observations. “It has been repeatedly stated through the judgement that the court cannot decide a title based on faith”. It has accepted that the idols were illegally brought and put in the mosque. Namaz used to be offered there. Hindus made several attempts to encroach onto the mosque land during communal riots. And it was made clear that the mosque was not built by demolishing any temple. Yet, the land was given in effect to the Hindus, which he said he was not able to understand why.

Commenting on the addendum which was attached to the judgement about the birth of Lord Ram, he said, “I’ve read the judgement, except for the addendum. I can’t believe, after my many years as a judge, that there can be an addendum. It’s neither dissenting, nor confirming.”

Stated the ex-Justice, “The demolition of Babri Masjid (in 1992 by a Hindu mob) was the most reprehensible act. It was a failure of the government that it did nothing to prevent this. It is the Constitutional obligation of the state to protect places of worship and maintain law and order.”

Questioning the court’s order to give alternative land for the mosque, he said, “The court felt the need to provide restitution to Muslims. And that has been done by giving them five acres of land. Is that the way justice should have been done?”

“There is one more judgement, the State versus Kalyan Singh on 19/04/2017 over the destruction of the Masjid. There were criminal cases against kar sevaks and well-known (BJP) politicians like Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti. Kindly notice the contradiction. One bench of the SC directed the central government to hold trial, not sparing even the governor. And now, for the same plot of land, the act of acquisition is considered as a reason to allow them a better title. Where is the claim of better, possessory title of the Hindus? And for such a deed, Hindus faced a trial,” Ganguly said.

As many experts are silent on the contentious judgement, Ganguly chose to speak on the issue. He said it was his duty to speak up. That’s why, he said, he came to Delhi to address the people on the judgement. The programme was also addressed by senior Supreme Court advocate Sanjay Hegde and political scientist Prof. Neera Chandoke.

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