Judges were required to clear the “innumerable landmines” at the disputed site at Ayodhya, “where angels fear to tread,” but we decided to take the risk despite some saner elements advising us against it, says Justice S.U. Khan.
He was on the three-judge Bench of Allahabad High Court Bench in Lucknow, which gave its verdict on the Ayodhya title suits case on Thursday.
Giving an insight into the complex issues before the judges, Justice Khan said they had decided to address it but not rush into it like “fools.”
“Here is a small piece of land [1,500 square yards] where angels fear to tread. It is full of innumerable landmines. We are required to clear it.”
“Some very sane elements advised us not to attempt that. We do not propose to rush in like fools lest we are blown. However, we have to take risk. It is said that the greatest risk in life is not daring to take risk when the occasion for the same arises,” he wrote in the prelude to his 285-page judgement.
“Once angels were made to bow before man. Sometimes he has to justify the said honour. This is one of those occasions. We have succeeded or failed? No one can be a judge in his own cause.”
Justices Khan, Dharam Veer Sharma and Sudhir Agarwal gave separate judgements running to over 8,000 pages. The court held that two parts of the disputed site of 2.77 acres would go to Hindus and the remaining one part to Muslims.
The court held that the place where the makeshift temple of Lord Ram exists belongs to Hindus, paving the way for construction of a temple there.
Justice Khan is of the view that the verdict has given Indian Muslims a good opportunity to spread to the world the teachings of Islam.
Justice Khan bluntly told the parties to the dispute that the nation might not be able to rise again if the incident of December 6, 1992 (when the Babri Masjid was demolished) was repeated.
In his verdict, Justice Sharma held that the entire disputed area of 2.77 acres at Ayodhya is the birth place of Lord Ram. He said the “place of birth is a juristic person and is a deity.” Justice Khan said both Muslims and Hindus had been using and occupying the disputed premises for several decades and so are declared to be joint title owners.
Gist of findings
“It is not proved by direct evidence that premises in dispute including constructed portion belonged to Babar or the person who constructed the mosque or under whose orders it was constructed. No temple was demolished for constructing the mosque,” Justice Khan said in the gist of findings.
Justice Khan said even though for the sake of convenience both Muslims and Hindus were using and occupying different portions of the premises in dispute, still it did not amount to formal partition and both continued to be in joint possession of the entire premises in dispute.
He said that for some decades before 1949, Hindus had started treating or believing that the place under the central dome of the mosque was the birthplace of Lord Ram.
“That idol was placed for the first time beneath the central dome of the mosque in the early hours of 23.12.1949.”
Quotes from Rig Veda
Justice Agarwal, who wrote the lengthiest judgement, began by quoting extensively from the Rig Veda with verses referring to the destruction and the subsequent creation of the universe.
“During the Dissolution, there was neither existence nor nonexistence, and at that time neither Lok (world) was there nor was anything beyond the space. What encompassed all at that time? Where was the abode and of whom? What was the unfathomable and deep water?,” he quoted from Vedic text in the beginning of his judgment.
Justice Agarwal, whose judgement ran into 21 volumes and more than 5,000 pages, further quoted: “None knows and none can tell as to from where and how the Creation took place, because even the scholars or those having foresight, were born after the Creation. Hence, none knows the source of this Creation.”
“At that time there was neither death nor immortality, and there was also no knowledge of day and night in [the] absence of the Sun and the Moon. In that stage of vacuum, Brahm (the Supreme Being) alone was imbibing life from His own power. There was nothing beyond or distinct from Him,” he said.