10 key arguments in 18 Ayodhya review petitions before Supreme Court today
Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde heads the five-judge bench that comprises justices DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna as other members.Updated: Dec 12, 2019 16:56 IST
New Delhi: Five judges of the Supreme Court will hear the review petitions challenging the top court’s November 9 judgment in the Ayodhya title suit at 1.40pm on Thursday. The hearing will be held in-chambers, not in open court. The judges can, however, pass an order directing an open-court hearing. In such a case, the petitions will be listed for hearing later when the petitioners will have the occasion to make oral arguments.
Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde heads the five-judge bench that comprises justices DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna as the other members. Justice Khanna is the new member on the bench. He takes the place of former CJI Ranjan Gogoi, who retired from office within a week of the Ayodhya verdict.
In this judgment, the bench had awarded the title to the 2.77-acre disputed land to Ram Lalla Virajman, the child deity. It also granted five acres of land to Muslims at an alternative site in Ayodhya for the construction of a new mosque. The Centre was also ordered to set up a trust to build the temple and manage the site.
Below are the 10 grounds raised in the review petitions by the various petitioners.
1. Judgment amounts to a direction to destroy the Babri Masjid: Had the Masjid not been illegally demolished on December 6, 1992, the implementation of the November 9 judgment would have required the destruction of an existing mosque to make space for a proposed temple.
2. Court rewarded crimes by granting title to Hindus: In granting title of the disputed site to Hindu parties, the court disregarded the basic principle that no person can derive benefit out of an illegality. The court acknowledged the crimes committed by the Hindu parties in 1934, 1939 and 1992. Despite that, the court rewarded the crimes by allowing relief to Hindu parties.
3. Complete justice can be done only be reconstruction of Babri Masjid at the disputed site: Since the court itself acknowledged in its judgment that the Babri Masjid was demolished in violation of the court’s order, complete justice can be done in this case only by reconstruction of the mosque.
4.Evidence not appreciated evenly: The court did not appreciate that the structure in question had always been a mosque and had been in exclusive possession of the Muslims. Evidence regarding that was not appreciated by the court evenly. Precedence was given to oral testimonies of the Hindu parties over contemporary documentary evidence of the Muslim parties
All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB)-backed petitioners
1. The title could not have been granted based on possession: The title of the land could not have been awarded to Hindu parties based on exclusive possession of the site, since it has been admitted that Muslims entered and prayed at the site till 1949.
2. Judgment sanctions illegalities: The verdict of the top court sanctions serious illegalities of destruction, criminal trespass, and violation of rule of law, including damaging the mosque and eventually destroying it. The judgment erred in accepting that the idol is entitled to the disputed site when the court itself had acknowledged that the idol was illegally and forcibly put there.“An idol as deity cannot be simultaneously illegally placed and legally valid to claim the title,” the petition argues.
3. Court took “advantage” of the destruction of the mosque to award the title of the disputed land to Hindus.
Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha
1. No valid mosque: There was no valid mosque at the disputed site in Ayodhya and references to Babri Masjid/ mosque in the judgment should be substituted with the term “disputed structure”.
2. SC went beyond the prayers if Muslim parties: The Muslim parties had never made a prayer for an alternative site and hence the Supreme Court could not have gone beyond the prayers and awarded five acres of alternate land to Muslims.
3. Delete observations against Hindu parties: Observations against Hindus, describing the acts committed by them in 1949 and 1992 as illegalities, should be deleted since Hindu parties were never called upon to clarify their position with regard to the acts of 1949 (placing of idols) and 1992 (demolition of the mosque).