Sunni Waqf Board moves apex court against Ayodhya order

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

LUCKNOW/NEW DELHI - The Sunni Central Waqf Board Tuesday moved the apex court against the Sep 30 order of the Allahabad High Court in the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit, raising several issues against the verdict, including that it relied heavily on belief.

“We have sought to draw the Supreme Court’s attention to the fact that the high court verdict had relied heavily on belief, while evidence has been relegated to the background,” Waqf board legal adviser Zafaryab Jilani told IANS from New Delhi.

The high court had ordered the division of the disputed plot of Ayodhya land in three parts - one for Ram Lalla, one for the Nirmohi Akhara and one for the Sunni Waqf Board. While the Hindu parties had already moved the apex court, the Sunni Waqf Board has filed its appeal now.

Jilani was strongly of the view that the silence of Tulsidas in any of his works (including Ram Charit Manas) about the existence of a Ram temple at the site of the now razed Babri mosque was a point in support of his contention that no temple existed at the spot where the 16th century mosque was built.

“The fact that Tulsidas never talked about any such temple in any of his writings which he penned down in Ayodhya speaks volumes against the Hindu claim,” Jilani argued.

According to him, the high court had “misinterpreted” Article 25 and 26 of the Indian Constitution, whereby everyone has been given the freedom to practice and profess one’s religion. “While the high court order grants that right in favour of Hindus, it has overlooked the fact that Muslims too enjoy equal rights under the provisions of the constitution,” he added.

He also refuted the high court’s argument on Hindus offering prayers inside the mosque building. “There was no evidence of Hindus offering prayers inside the building of the Babri Masjid prior to 1949 when the mosque was forcibly taken over by Hindu mobs,” he argued.

“According to available evidence, ‘puja’ and ‘darshan’ was allowed only on the ‘chabootra’ (platform) outside the precincts of the mosque, which is further confirmed by Nirmohi Akhara in their own petition moved in 1941,” he said.

“Even as early as in 1885, when the first ever claim was made by Hindus, the sub-judge of Faizabad termed the ‘chabootra’ as the birthplace of Ram,” he added.

Jilani has claimed in his appeal that other than oral evidence essentially based on belief, there was no documentary evidence to establish the birthplace of Lord Ram. According to him, “there was no historical trace of human habitation in or around Ayodhya prior to 1500 BC, whereas Lord Ram’s birth dates back to some 900,000 (sic) years, of which there was no record in any form.”

Jilani claimed that “even the excavations carried out by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have failed to establish the existence of a temple at the site of the Babri mosque”.

The Sunni Waqf Board’s plea was the fourth appeal to be moved by different parties against the high court verdict. While two appeals were moved by independent Hindu parties - Ramlalla Virajman and Hindu Mahasabha, the third one was moved by Jamait-ul-Ukema secretary Hafiz Mihammad Siddique.

Filed under: Religion

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