Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad made a fervent plea to the Supreme Court on Tuesday morning to let the Allahabad High Court pronounce its verdict on the dispute on who owns the 2.77 acres in Ayodhya.
Representing Ram Lala Virajman (Baby Ram), the advocate rubbished petitioner Ramesh Chand Tripathi’s argument that the verdict would hurt the sentiments of either of the two religious groups.
“A court verdict thrust upon the public would always be respected,” he said, recalling the Mandal verdict. “There was so much revolt when the reservation law was introduced. However, the same public accepted the SC judgment with humility.”
Advocate Atul Chitale, who had represented one of the petitioners in the contempt petition against former UP Chief Minister Kalyan Singh in 1992, said Prasad’s statement and political leaders’ request to the public to accept the verdict was a welcome sign. “The HC judgment would be challenged before SC. These statements only assure that nobody would resort to violence,” he said.
Singh was jailed for a day after his government failed to keep the promise to ensure law and order at the site. The demolition of the Babri masjid took place during his tenure.
Hoping that the leaders would keep their promise, senior counsel Dushyant Dave said: “This is an extraordinary development. If a senior BJP leader or prominent Sunni Waqf Board member says they would respect the judgment, we should take them at face value. Such statements would pave the way for a strong secular India.”
Unlike in 1992, Dave contended, the atmosphere was now cordial. “Every person in India has a right to approach the court. That is the rule of law. This judgment would adjudicate issues pending for long,” he said.
Chitale was, however, apprehensive whether leaders such as Prasad would be able to control the people they represent.