The Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi was told on Wednesday that the first Mughal Emperor, Babur, may not have built the ‘Babri Masjid’ structure in Ayodhya.
In fact, the court was told by senior advocate P.N. Mishra, who appears for the Ram Janmabhumi Punaruddhar Samiti, that Babur may not have even visited Ayodhya.
Mr. Mishra referred to three works — Ain-i-Akbari written by court historian Abu'l Fazl; Humayun nama ; and Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri or Memoirs of Jahangir — to argue his claim. He said none of them mentions that Babur built the disputed structure.
They said a work by Italian Niccolao Manucci, who is believed to have been a commander of Emperor Aurangazeb, also does not contain any reference to the disputed structure. Manucci did not include hearsay in his work. He had noted only incidents he had seen or experienced himself.
There was no reference also to Mir Baqi, a nobleman Muslims believe constructed the disputed structure for Babur.
Mr. Mishra said there might have been some demolition of a structure, probably a temple in the disputed area, during the period of Aurangazeb. He argued that the claim by Sunni Waqf Board that the disputed structure was built in the 16th century was without merit.
The structure had none of the features of a mosque. He said Hindus, from time immemorial, have believed and worshipped the Ramjanmabhumi as the birth place of Lord Ram.
Lawyers for the Ayodhya deity, Ram Lalla Virajman, have also been contending that the disputed Ramjanmabhumi is itself a deity and could not have been partitioned.
Senior advocate C.S. Vaidynathan, for the deity, had contended that if there was once a temple on the Ramjanmabhumi and people were worshipping there as the Lord’s birthplace, then nobody could possibly claim ownership by adverse possession. He had said on Wednesday that the Ayodhya deity was a perpetual minor. The property of a minor cannot be dealt with, sold or alienated. He had questioned how the Allahabad High Court, in its verdict in September 2010, could have handed over the property of the minor Ayodhya deity to anyone.