‘It is a Political Decision’: Muslim Lawyers Disappointed with Ayodhya Verdict

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Babri Masji was demolished by a Hindutva mob on 6th December 1992.

Zafar Aafaq | Caravan Daily

Lawyers and leaders representing the Muslim parties in Babri Masjid title suit are disappointed and dissatisfied with the Supreme Court’s decision pronounced on Saturday morning in Ayodhya land suit.

The Court’s decision cleared way for construction of Hindu temple at the site where once a Mughal era mosque stood.

“The place of masjid has been allotted to the opposite party and we are not satisfied,” President Jamat-e-islami Hind, Sadatul Hussain said.

The Supreme Court ordered that Indian government should within 3 months formulate a scheme envisaging setting up of trust for construction of Temple at the site.

The lawyers said that the verdict has been given on the basis of faith and not on the basis of evidence.

Muslims parties in the suite were represented by at least over three dozen lawyers which including seven advocates on record.

The evidence and facts favoured Muslim parties but the court chose to use special inherent powers to make the decision, noted lawyer, Niyaz Ahmad Farooqui, who was part of the legal team of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) said while speaking to Caravan Daily.

In its judgement the Supreme Court cited the report of archaeology saying there used to be a non-Islamic structure underneath the land where mosque stood.

The lawyers questioned the premise and said that it was not a conclusive evidence. “If evidence of structure is found underneath parliament, should those be demolished,” Qasim Rasool Iliyas, member of AIMPLB questioned. “There was a mosque for centuries, why are we being dispossessed of that right.”

The court said that the Suit 4 of Sunni Waqf Board is within limitation and hence upheld the suit.

“I fail to comprehend that on one hand court showed satisfaction with our arguments and then decided against us.”

In 1992, a mob of right wing Hindu activists descended into the city of Ayodhya and demolished the Mughal era Babri masjid in broad day light triggering communal clashes across the country. The razing of the mosque was an open assault on the secular fabric of the country. “Destruction of mosque against rule of law,” the court said.

On question of whether the Supreme Court bowed to the pressure of majority community, Members of AIMPLB were guarded in their responses. “It’s a political judgement,” Niyaz Ahmad Farooqui said. “The Supreme Court could not have disappointed the majority of this country and that’s why it used the special power.”

Ilyas said it seems the court came under pressure.

“I am disappointed,” said Mohamamd Noorallah, a young lawyer who was party of the legal team representing Muslim side. “But we have to honour the decision of the apex court.”

In its judgement, the apex court said that alternate land to be allotted to Muslims to construct a mosque.

President Jamat-e-Islami Hind Saadat Ullah Hussain said that the site of mosque belongs to Allah.

“We are not an authority to exchange the land or gift it to someone. Voluntarily exchanging the land for construction of mosque is not possible,” he said. “But Court can rule and everyone has to follow.” He said that the matter is for All India Muslim Personal Law Board to decide after due thought process.

For Hussain the court’s observations on 1991 Act protecting places of worship as one positive in Saturday’s judgement. He said that the Supreme Court rulings are binding on every citizen and appealed the general public to maintain peace and communal harmony. “This issue should not be used for further polarisation.”

The lawyers said that they were exploring the options of reviewing the petition but added that they don’t have much hope. “The court wanted to end the long-standing dispute and used special powers, there is not much scope of reversal of the decision.” Farooqi said.

Any decision on the future course of legal action will be taken after meeting of the executive members of the board, Hussain said.

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