Babri Mosque attacked by Hindus in 1934, trespassed in 1949, razed in 1992: Muslims tell SC
New Delhi, Sep 03: The Babri mosque was attacked in 1934 by Hindus who then trespassed in 1949 and demolished it in 1992 and are now saying that their rights over the disputed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid land must be protected, Muslim parties said in the Supreme Court on Monday.
A five judges Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, which commenced hearing arguments from the Muslim side on the 17th day of the crucial proceedings, was told by senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan that the historical assertions and facts cannot be relied upon completely in deciding the lawsuits.
"In 1934, you (Hindus) break the masjid and in 1949, you commit trespass and finally, in 1992, you demolish the mosque...and after all the destructions, you say that the Britishers collaborated against Hindus and now say that our right must be protected," said Dhavan, appearing for Sunni Waqf Board and one of the original litigants, M Siddiq.
The bench, however, told him: "Please do not go into all this. Your arguments should be relevant to issues."
Dhavan said all these issues have been raised by the other side and he should be allowed to respond as this hearing was related to the "future of this country".
Senior advocate C S Vaidyanathan, appearing for the deity, also got up and said that Dhavan should deal with the case of the plaintiff (Muslim parties).
"He is free to place his case, the way he wants to," the CJI said.
Dhavan told the bench, which also comprised justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer, that Justice S U Khan, one of the three judges of Allahabad HC, had noted down that historical fact cannot be the ground enough to decide the title.
"As far as title suit of civil nature is concerned, there is no room of historical facts and sometimes, they will lead to erroneous conclusions," Dhavan said, quoting the HC verdict.
At the outset, Dhavan referred to the issues which he would address and said that it had been argued by the Hindu parties that when Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodi, the nature of regime change was 'Darul Islam' and in this form, the king does not automatically become the owner of the entire state.
Then he said that it has been argued that only Hindu law will apply in deciding the dispute and moreover the concept of 'Swayambhu' (on its own) has been used to say that as Lord Ram appeared on his own at the land which becomes the deity.
"The question of 'Swayambhu' does not arise, because it was raised first time in 1989 when the suit was filed on behalf of 'Ram Lalla Virajman' through a next friend," he said.
On the issue as to which law, Hindu or Muslim or both, would apply, Dhavan said the "law of justice, equity and good conscience should be applied as this is the law of the land".
During Vedic period, there were neither temples nor monasteries and there was no concept of idol worship, he said, adding that he "does not want to raise another controversy by pointing out whether Aryans brought such practices in our culture".
On the issue of 'parikrama' of the birthplace of Lord Ram, which Hindus contended that it was going on since time immemorial, Dhavan said it was one of the forms of worship and not a piece of evidence.
The law on 'Wakf' would apply and once any property is dedicated to the almighty, 'Allah' becomes the owner.
He said historiography tells about the way the history should be read and such facts cannot be the sufficient ground to decide title claims in a lawsuit by courts.
History cuts both ways, Hindus and Muslims cannot say that their version of history be believed to decide, he said, adding, "I cannot dig up evidence...difficulties are there (in appreciating historical facts)."
The high court had used the principle of "informed guess" and "preponderance of probability" in holding that it cannot be said with certainty as to whether a temple existed at the disputed place before the mosque came up.
"We are firm of the view that the place was not a temple just because there were pictures of peacock and lotus," Dhavan said, adding the high court took note of the views of ASI and other experts and said no "definite opinion" can be made about the nature of the structure.
Dhavan said he 'Ramayana', written by Tulsidas, was 'kavya' (poetry) and cannot said to be the part of history.
To this, the bench said: "Tulsidas was a contemporary and 'Kavya' may also contain facts."
Liberty may be taken by poet, Dhavan said.
He then referred to the statement of 'Nirmohi Akahara' saying it will not question the maintainability of the lawsuit of deity 'Ram Lalla' if its (Akhara's) 'shebait' (devotee) rights are not challenged by the deity.
He then referred to the different stands of the deity and 'Akahara' with regard to the legality of the lawsuits and said that the court will have to 'interpret' concession made by the 'Akahara' in favour of the deity.
'Ram Janm Bhoomi Nyas' is also a party and it said that it will construct a magnificent temple and now the question was whether 'Akhara' would get the same 'shebait' right, he said. Dhavan would resume arguments on Tuesday.
The Allahabad High Court, in its judgment of 2010 on four civil lawsuits, had partitioned the 2.77-acre disputed land equally among the three parties - Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
Fourteen appeals have been filed in the Supreme Court against the verdict.