As 6 Things had covered here earlier, the Supreme Court of India had delivered its much-anticipated verdict on the Ayodhya dispute earlier this month. It had ruled that a Ram temple was to be built on the controversial piece of land, while a separate, 5-acre plot of land was to be awarded to Muslims to build a mosque.
However, not everyone seems to happy with this verdict. And now, multiple bodies have filed a review petition against this ruling — effectively setting the ball rolling on another lengthy legal process. (However, according to experts, these petitions are most likely to be dismissed before they reach the higher courts.)
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The All India Muslim Personal Law Board and the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind have filed review petitions against the Supreme Court’s controversial Ayodhya verdict. (Quick recap: The All India Muslim Personal Law Board is a non-government organisation constituted in 1973 to adopt suitable strategies for the protection and continued applicability of Muslim Personal Law in India. The Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind is one of the leading organizations of Islamic scholars belonging to the Deobandi school of thought in India.)
“Saying that the judgment in the Ayodhya land dispute case did not do any justice, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Sunday decided to file a review petition challenging the Supreme Court verdict. The decision was taken at an AIMPLB meeting in Lucknow.
“Once a mosque is built, it remains a mosque till the end of time. So Babri Masjid is, was, and will remain a mosque. However, if the Supreme Court had said that Babri Masjid had been built after demolishing a temple, we would have forfeited our claim. Also, if we do not have a claim, why give us land at all? That is why this is a baffling verdict from the Supreme Court,” he said.”
However, it seems that not everyone agrees with this dissenting opinion.
“However, the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board, which has been awarded the alternative five-acre land for mosque by the apex court, as well as Iqbal Ansari, also a main litigant, distanced themselves from the Board’s decision and said they would not file a review petition.”
Apart from religious bodies, a number of prominent personalities have also asked India’s highest court to re-examine its unanimous verdict regarding the disputed land.
“In a statement, the signatories said that the “first source of concern” is that the court has delivered a judgment “which has been made possible only by the criminal destruction of the Babri Masjid” on December 6, 1992, which the court itself described as an “unlawful act”.
They said the archaeological on the site, which the judgment relied on, would not have been possible without the destruction of the majid. “Nor would it have been as easy for the Court to hand over the site to the Hindu side if the Masjid had still stood,” they said.
The statement also says there is “no iota of proof” for the Supreme Court’s assumption that Muslims had ceased to pray in the masjid in Mughal and Nawabi times. “Nor is there any proof that Hindus anywhere before very late times believed that Lord Rama was born precisely at the site of Babri Masjid, which should, of course, not be confused with the belief that he was born in Ayodhya,” it says.
Among those who have signed the request are journalists Dhirendra K. Jha and Pamela Philipose, historian Irfan Habib, academics Jayati Ghosh and Badri Raina and Sohail Hashmi.”
So, what now?
Chances are, all these review petitions will be dismissed before they reach the country’s higher courts. A unanimous verdict by the highest court of the nation is not that easy to overturn. However, these acts do tell us that not everyone is happy or content with the long-awaited verdict, and many feel that the Court has been unfair in doling out justice. The matter is still far from over.
Keep your eyes on this space. We’ll keep you updated.