04, Dec 2017
December 03, 2017
Supreme Court asked to declare Babri neutral, non-religious constitutional space, irrespective of final adjudication
By Our Representative
Sunday, December 03, 2017
In a sharp move to intervene in the Babri Masjid dispute, which the Supreme Court is set to hear on a day-to-day basis starting December 5, dozens of top intellectuals, activists and other prominent citizens have asked the apex court to declare the disputed site to be “used for a non-religious public use, irrespective of the adjudication” on who should finally own the site.
Those who are party to the petition include well-known film director Shyam Benegal, top feature filmmaker Aparna Sen, documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan, linguist Ganesh Devy, social activist Medha Patkar, litterateur Aruna Roy, human rights activist Teesta Setalvad, former IPS officer RB Sreekumar, among others.
Seeking online support from 10 lakh citizens, the petition sharply disputes the Allahabad High Court judgement of September 30, 2010, which had concluded that the area under the Central Dome of Babri Masjid of the disputed premise is the birth place of Lord Ram. It said, the conclusion was made on the basis of the presumption that it is “unanimously” believed to be so “as a matter of faith.”
Pointing out that the “High Court relies on the Sanskrit inscriptions as primary evidence”, the petition says, “None of these Sanskrit inscriptions relied upon or found at or relating to Ayodhya before 1528 contain any reference to Lord Ram directly by the name or to any sanctity attached to Ayodhya on account of it being its place of birth.”
Further questioning the High Court judgment, the petition, which has been sponsored by the top human rights organization Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), says, the inscriptions were found by the kar sevaks during demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1993, which “raises pertinent questions” about their veracity.
Asking citizens to sign in large numbers online to support the petition, CJP says, “It is time that responsible citizens intervene and make a powerful argument that the Court does not treat this as a property dispute”, adding, “Ayodhya means a place that cannot be won with war (or conflict). Yet our Ayodhya has been rife with a perpetrated dispute.”
Explaining the contents of the petition, CJP says, “The Supreme Court under Article 142 has powers to ensure ‘doing complete justice’ in any matter. Here we argue that Article 142 gives it power to resolve a public dispute in any way it chooses, even outside the purview of the two parties.”
“We propose to pray for the space where Babri Masjid once stood to be actually a neutral Constitutional space that signals a new harmonious beginning for India”, underlines, adding, “The High Court judgement of September 30, 2010 stunned citizens. It was a flawed verdict in every sense since a Court should never go into matters of faith.”
Even as seeking to declare Babri a neutral territory, the petition wants apex court to consider the following:
a. None of the parties to the original suit have been able to prove conclusive title to the disputed premises,
b. The High Court has decided that the area covered under the erstwhile central dome of the disputed structure was the birthplace of Lord Rama, though there being no archaeological evidence on it, and
c. The said premise and dispute engulfing it have over the course of last three decades resulted in various incidences of polarising communal violence across the country.