A Hindu party asserted in the Supreme Court on Wednesday that the "unshakeable faith" of millions of believers is sufficient to prove that the entire Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid disputed site at Ayodhya was the birth place of Lord Ram. The apex court stressed that revenue records, other documentary and oral evidence would be "a very good piece of evidence" to establish the possession claim of the Hindu parties over the 2.77 acre disputed site.
'Ram Lalla Virajman', the deity which itself has been made a party to the politically and religiously sensitive case, submitted through senior advocate K Parasaran that the Ram Janmabhoomi has itself become "personification of the deity and an object of worship for the Hindus". He asked the court that as to how after so many centuries the proof of Lord Ram's birth at the place can be shown.
"How will we prove after so many centuries that Lord Ram was born there," said Prasaran to a five-judge Constitution bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer. "The unshakeable faith of worshippers and believers is itself evidence that the 'Asthan' is the birthplace of Lord Ram," he said, adding that Valmiki Ramayana also mentions at three places that Lord Ram was born in Ayodhya.
The bench asked Prasaran if question of this nature about the birth of a religious figure has ever arisen in any court. "Whether issues like birth of Jesus Christ at Bethlehem have been questioned and dealt with by any court in the world," the bench asked Prasaran, to which the senior advocate said that he will check and inform the court.
The senior advocate replied to several questions relating to the placing of idols inside the disputed structure, years before its demolition on December 6, 1992. Parasaran said whether it is a wrong or not, the placing of idols will depend upon whether the structure was a mosque or a temple.
"If it was a wrong (placing of idols) assuming it to be a continuing wrong, then the continuing wrong was snapped when the court intervened and receiver was appointed," he said. "A receiver having possession of property pursuant to a court order cannot be a continuing wrong," he added.
He said the fact that whether the disputed structure was a temple or a mosque can only be decided on the basis as to who had been worshipping there and contended that the idols are still there. "Inner courtyard or outer courtyard is not relevant. We say that whole area is Janambhoomi," he said.
The top court is hearing 14 appeals filed against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. During the hearing, while Parasaran was emphasising that the entire area was the birth place of Lord Ram, the bench asked him, "Are the idols there carbon dated?".
Parasaran will continue with the arguments on Thursday but another Hindu body, Nirmohi Akhara, which is also a party to the matter, faced tough situation as it was asked whether it has got any revenue records, oral and documentary evidence to establish its possession over the disputed site. The bench asked senior advocate Sushil Jain, representing Nirmohi Akhara, that since it was dealing with the issue of possession, the Hindu body will have to "establish" its case.
"Now, we are dealing with the possession. You have to establish the possession. If you have any revenue record in your favour then it is a very good piece of evidence in your favour," the bench said. The Akhara has been seeking management and proprietary rights over the disputed site on various grounds including that it was under its possession since time immemorial and it has the status of 'shebaitship' of the deity.
"Apart from the revenue records, what are the evidence to show and how did you exercise the right of 'shebaitship'," the bench asked Jain and added, "You have to establish your case." Jain tried to establish the fact that Hindu body's lawsuit seeking re-possession of the site was not barred by the law of limitation.
He said that suit sought restoration of "shebait" rights for management of temple ('Shebait' is the custodian of the temple) and 'Shebait' rights include management and proprietary rights. "When dispossession happened in 1950, Shebait rights got affected," he said, adding that prayer for restoration of 'shebait rights' will be covered under recovery of possession.
"The limitation period for recovery of possession is 12 years. The dispossession happened in 1950. Suit was filed in 1959 so it is within limitation," he told the bench which was hearing the arguments in the Ayodhya case for the second day. However, on the second day of the day-to-day hearing, the bench abruptly stopped Jain from advancing further arguments and asked him to come prepared with the evidence to buttress its possession claim.
"We know that you are not in a position to take us to the original records," the bench told Jain, adding that, "We want to know if land revenues were paid and who is paying." The bench asked him to prepare a chart of evidence saying that documentary materials about the maintenance of land records would be crucial for deciding the issue.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)