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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

Report on ruins can’t be rejected, interpretation key: Supreme Court

Senior Advocate Shekhar Naphde, also representing a Muslim party, said that the decision of courts below in the 1885 suit filed by Ayodhya resident Raghubar Das held that a mosque existed at the site and Hindus had only limited rights.

india Updated: Sep 28, 2019 00:03 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
The five-judge Supreme Court bench started holding daily hearings from August this year to fast-track the case that has been pending for decades
The five-judge Supreme Court bench started holding daily hearings from August this year to fast-track the case that has been pending for decades(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
         

The Archaeological Survey of India’s (ASI) 2003 report on the disputed site in Ayodhya, indicating the presence of ruins of a temple beneath the Babri Masjid, will have to be given due weightage and cannot be rejected as demanded by Muslim parties, the Supreme Court said on Friday.

While the report of ASI cannot be rejected , different interpretations of it may be possible, the court added.

These remarks were made by Justice DY Chandrachud, one of the five judges on the bench, when senior advocate Meenakshi Arora termed ASI’s report “hypothetical”, based on inferences, and which cannot be treated as evidence. Another judge, Justice SA Bobde, said the court is “conscious that both sides are relying on inference” and added that the question was which is “valid’ and “more reasonable”.

Senior Advocate Shekhar Naphde, also representing a Muslim party, said that the decision of courts below in the 1885 suit filed by Ayodhya resident Raghubar Das held that a mosque existed at the site and Hindus had only limited rights.

This decision bound the entire Hindu community and the principle of res judicata refrained them from raising the plea once again, he added

At this Justice Bobde asked Naphade whether a decision on a suit filed by someone who has nothing to do with the community but is instigated by some to file the case can be binding on the community. Naphde replied that if such a view is taken then there will never be an end to litigation in a country that has many faiths.

More than a dozen appeals were filed against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The five-judge Supreme Court bench started holding daily hearings from August this year to fast-track the case that has been pending for decades after an SC-appointed mediation committee failed to develop a consensus among the parties to arrive at an amicable resolution.

First Published: Sep 27, 2019 23:52 IST

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