Hardly a month after the Supreme Court permitted the construction of a temple in the disputed Ayodhya land , Muslim parties on Monday filed a petition seeking a review of the November 9 judgment.
Maulana Syed Ashhad Rashidi, president of the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, said he was conscious of the need to maintain peace and harmony, but there cannot be peace without justice.
With its judgment, Mr. Rashidi said, the court had effectively righted the illegal acts of Hindus. In fact, the court seems to have granted a mandamus to destroy the Babri Masjid and allowed the construction of a Ram temple on the disputed land.
The petition said that through its judgment, the court seems to have acknowledged “few of the several illegalities committed by the Hindu parties, particularly in 1934 [damaging the domes of the Babri Masjid], 1949 [desecrating the masjid] and 1992 [demolition of the masjid]”. The court hads erred in “rewarding” these crimes.
The plea stated that the court had even gone on to “condone those very illegal acts and has awarded the disputed site to the very party which based its claims on nothing but a series of illegal acts”. It had equated wanton acts of destruction and trespass committed by the Hindu parties to acts of assertion of claim over the disputed site, it said.
With its judgment, the court had violated the settled legal principle that it cannot shelter parties who based their claim on an illegal act. “Further, this Court has, in an attempt to balance the reliefs between the parties, while condoning illegalities of the Hindu parties, has allotted alternate land admeasuring five acres to the Muslim parties, which was neither pleaded nor prayed for,” the 217-page review plea contended.
The court wrongly applied its extraordinary constitutional powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to do complete justice, which in this case, was the reconstruction of the Babri Masjid.
“The court committed an error apparent by elevating a mere look at the central dome by the Hindu parties to a claim of possessory title... The court did not appreciate that the structure in question had always been a mosque and had been in exclusive possession of the Muslims,” the petition said.
The court wrongly relied on travellers’ accounts and archaeological findings to decide issues of title, that too, despite noting that the travellers’ accounts were not conclusive and archaeological findings could not be the basis of deciding a title dispute, it said.
The court did not appreciate that the Babri mosque was a waqf property. “The Court erred in unevenly appreciating evidence and giving precedence to oral testimonies of the Hindu parties vis a vis the contemporary documentary evidence of the Muslim parties, which resulted in incorrect application of doctrine of preponderance of probabilities,” it stated.