Forty prominent persons have filed a joint review petition against the Constitution Bench judgment of the Supreme Court in the Ayodhya appeals in early November, saying the verdict has a direct impact on the secular fabric of the country.
The petitioners, who range from academicians to activists from diverse faiths, have filed the review petition through advocate Prashant Bhushan.
They include Irfan Habib, Harsh Mander, Farah Naqvi, Nandini Sundar, Shabnam Hashmi, John Dayal and Jayati Ghosh among others.
They submitted that though they were not part of the original Ayodhya land title dispute suit, they have found that the judgment’s “tenor, language and operative orders have expanded the scope of the SLP from a title dispute to a battle about the faith of the Hindus and the Muslims”.
The judgment overrides the faith of one community to favour the faith of another.
“Since it is a matter now between communities, the petitioners who belong to diverse faiths within the country are aggrieved by the decision which has a direct impact on the syncretic culture of the country,” the petition said.
“Interestingly, the belief of the Hindus that Ram was born in Ayodhya is not without doubt [as has been expressed by eminent historians such as Professor Romila Thapar and Professor Irfan Habib, mentioned above inter alia]. The existence of the Babri Masjid is a fact that has been historically documented, whereas the existence of the Hindu temple on which this mosque was built is merely a belief of the Hindus, one that has not been corroborated by any of the evidence adduced by the Hindu parties,” the petition said.
The judgment failed to appreciate that neither parties had proved exclusive ownership of the land.
Besides, the judgment effectively rewarded those who broke the law three times over, defied the orders of the Supreme Court and above all dishonoured the guarantees of the Constitution and the central article of faith of the equality of all religions in India’s struggle for freedom, the petitioner argued.