Ayodhya verdict | Supreme Court not to entertain claims against actions of Mughals

‘For recourse against ancient rulers, law is not the answer’

November 10, 2019 09:56 pm | Updated November 28, 2021 12:26 pm IST - NEW DELHI

The Supreme Court of India,  in New Delhi.
Photo: Shanker Chakravarty 10-11-2003

The Supreme Court of India, in New Delhi. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty 10-11-2003

The Supreme Court cannot entertain claims about the actions of Mughal emperors against Hindu places of worship, the Ayodhya verdict said.

“This court cannot entertain claims that stem from the actions of the Mughal rulers against Hindu places of worship in a court of law today. For any person who seeks solace or recourse against the actions of any number of ancient rulers, the law is not the answer. Our history is replete with actions that have been judged to be morally incorrect and even today are liable to trigger vociferous ideological debate,” the Ayodhya judgment said.

With this, the apex court shuts its door against future claims of alleged atrocities committed by ancient rulers against Hindu places of worship of yore.

Watershed moment

The court said differences on the basis of religion, skin colour and ancestors died with the adoption of the Constitution.

Ayodhya verdict: All you need to know

“The adoption of the Constitution marks a watershed moment where we, the people of India, departed from the determination of rights and liabilities on the basis of our ideology, our religion, the colour of our skin, or the century when our ancestors arrived at these lands, and submitted to the rule of law,” the judgment said.

To the question then why the Supreme Court entertained the appeals on the civil suits for determination of title and possession of the Ayodhya land, the judgment reasons that “this court can adjudicate upon private property claims that were expressly or impliedly recognised by the British sovereign and subsequently not interfered with upon Indian independence.” “With respect to the disputed property, it is evident that the British Sovereign recognised and permitted the existence of both Hindu and Muslim communities at the disputed property upon the annexation of Oudh in 1856,” the judgment observed.

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