The Shia Wakf Board on Friday staked claim over one-third share of the disputed land in Ayodhya, contending that the September 30, 2010 order of Allahabad High Court on a three-way division had only said that the share be given to Muslims, and not specifically to Sunnis.
Advocate M C Dhingra, appearing for the Shia Board, told a five-Judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi that it had filed an appeal in the apex court against the March 1946 decision of Faizabad civil court upholding the Wakf Commissioner’s decision to list it as a Sunni Wakf.
Dhingra told the bench, also comprising Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer, that the Shia Board never claimed any adverse possession of the site and was not contesting claims of the Hindus. He said the Shia side was ready to give its share of land to Hindus.
Advocate Hari Shankar Jain, representing the Hindu Mahasabha, recalled the history of invasions by Mughal emperors and said “Babar had invaded India”, and that “invaders rights can’t be institutionalised”. “The black days of slavery are over. We are living in civilised society,” he said.
Jain claimed that “no oral or documentary evidence has come on record that the place was considered a Muslim place of worship till 1855. After the British came, they played (the) communal card and incited Muslims to assert their right to worship at the site and fixed railings at the site.”
“Invaders came here to establish the might of Islam and conquer pagans who were idol worshippers…invaders were completely fanatical,” he contended.
Jain said the temple was a war booty to the invaders and Islamic law allowed distributing war booty.
Senior Advocate P N Mishra, appearing for Sri Ramjanmabhoomi Punarudhar Samiti, contested the claim of the Sunni Wakf Board that it was a mosque. He said there were bells on the premises of the Babri Masjid which showed it could not have been a mosque, as bells are forbidden in mosques under Islamic law.
Mishra said the law of adverse possession cannot apply to a mosque, as Islamic law specifically prohibits usurping land of others. Even if building is constructed by usurping land of others, it cannot be treated as mosque, he said.
Mishra said that even according to Muslims, there was only intermittent use of the mosque and no continuous use, so tittle cannot be claimed.
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