The Sunni Waqf Board on Friday urged the Supreme Court not to allow the Centre or the Uttar Pradesh government to take partisan sides in the Ayodhya title suit. The UP government cannot go back on its neutrality, senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan told a three-judge bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra.
Dhavan was alluding to the fact that the UP government had maintained its silence on the issue during the earlier state regimes.
The central government on its part was the statutory receiver of the disputed land on which the Ram Janmabhoomi Babri Masjid once stood, Dhavan said. A receiver holds a position of trust under the law and is hence expected to be neutral.
Articulating the board’s position, Dhavan said the board cannot be told that now that the mosque is not there no one can pray there. “I am of the view that just as the Afghan Taliban destroyed the Bamiyan Buddha, the Hindu Taliban destroyed the Babri Masjid,” he charged.
He claimed that the Hindus were only allowed to pray at the Ayodhya site in 1949 under judicial orders after they had “trespassed” into the land.
Dhavan has been urging the three-judge bench to refer an earlier ruling, which declared that a mosque was not an essential part of prayer in Islam, to a larger bench as it prejudiced the board’s claim over the Ayodhya land. This is against secularism, he said.
Can any community’s right to pray be held inferior to that of another on the ground that the places of pilgrimage of one religion is outside this country, he argued. But the bench, also comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer, has so far not taken a call on this amid opposition to it from the government and the ‘nirmohi akhara’.
Further arguments on this will continue on July 20.
Earlier, the Shia board, which had lost its claim to title over the Ayodhya land had expressed its intention to hand over the land for a Ram temple should the court rule in its favour.
In 2010, the Allahabad High Court had partitioned the land between the warring Hindu and Muslim parties in the ratio of 2:1 with the larger chunk going to the Hindus to build a Ram temple on their land.
SOURCE : ET