December 2, 2017 5:02:02 am
A group of social activists and intellectuals, including Shyam Benegal, Aparna Sen, Teesta Setalvad, Aruna Roy, Medha Patkar, Kumar Ketkar and Anand Patwardhan have approached Supreme Court, seeking to implead themselves in the Babri Masjid demolition case.
They urged the court to treat the case not merely as one of land dispute and refrain from adjudicating in favour of either Hindus or Muslims, saying an order favouring either community may lead to violence. The application said, “It is the apprehension of the Applicants that if the Hon’ble Court adjudicates the present Civil Appeal/s in favour of either (of) the contesting communities, it is bound to forge extreme opinion amongst the communities on both sides which may result in aggravated incidents of violence as had been perpetuated earlier by the involvement of various political parties posing a serious threat to the secular fabric of the country.”
The applicants submitted that “the only situation lies today in each of us Indians rising above narrow confines of class, caste, community and gender and dedicate the spot that has come to signify conflict to a constructive non-religious purpose”.
Referring to the 2010 verdict of Allahabad HC, which ordered division of the disputed land among Ram Lalla, Nirmohi Akhara and Sunni Wakf Board, it said “The judgment gives an impression that it is more of a political solution adopted by a court, not a decision-based, as it should have been, strictly on facts and law.” The application said successive governments abandoned obligations to uphold the rule of law and made it the judiciary’s responsibility.
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“The implications of the HC’s attempt at placating all parties is unsettling for other reasons as well. It can be interpreted to mean that it is perfectly all right to demolish an old structure and to lay claim on the basis of some real or imaginary right, and to do so even by taking the law into your own hand,” it said. The SC will hear appeals against the HC verdict from December 5.
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