Ayodhya judgment: Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind to file review petition, says verdict 'not based on evidence'

New Delhi, Nov 17 (PTI) The Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind will file a review petition challenging the Supreme Court's Ayodhya verdict as it is 'not based on evidence and logic', the prominent Muslim organisation's chief Maulana Arshad Madani said on Sunday.

The apex court accepted most of the arguments and evidence of the Muslim parties, but delivered the judgment against them in favour of the Hindu parties, Madani said in a statement.

Jamiat's former Uttar Pradesh General Secretary M Siddiq was one of the original petitioners in the case. The Jamiat's present UP general secretary Ashhad Rashidi later became the petitioner in the case, Jamiat secretary Fazlur Rehman said.

The decision to review the Ayodhya judgment was taken after the Jamiat's highest decision-making body, the working committee, gave its nod for filing the review petition following extensive deliberations involving lawyers and experts.

Sources said Jamiat's working committee was earlier undecided on whether to file a review petition on the verdict and had formed a five-member panel on Friday to decide on it after consulting with lawyers and experts.

The panel under the chairmanship of Madani delved into the prospects of a review petition challenging the apex court verdict and recommended that a review petition should be filed in the case.

The Jamiat statement came just ahead of the top Muslim body -- All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) -- also announcing a review petition against the verdict.

The Jamiat panel observed that the judgment was against the Muslim parties and it was not a final judgment as the option of reviewing it is available under the Constitution of India, the statement said.

The Supreme Court, in its verdict in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi title case on November 9, said the entire 2.77 acres of disputed land should be handed over to the deity Ram Lalla, who was one of the three litigants.

The five-judge Constitution bench also directed the Centre to allot a five-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board in Ayodhya to build a mosque.

'Justice was not done fully as Muslims cannot shift the mosque,therefore, accepting an alternative land for the mosque is absolutely out of the question,' Madani said.

The Jamiat panel found that in its more than 1,000-page judgment, the five-member apex court bench under Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi accepted most of the evidence and arguments in favour of the Babri mosque, the statement said.

'While the legal option is available, there is also Sharia obligation to defend the masjid till the last breath,' the expert panel said.

It underlined that the Supreme Court made some observations that cleared many issues regarding the construction of the Babri masjid.

'For example, the mosque was not built after demolishing a Ram temple and the ASI report also amply confirmed that the Babri mosque was not built after razing down any temple there,' the Jamiat statement said.

No archaeological evidence of temple under the mosque was found, it said.

Both the courts -- the Supreme Court and the Allahabad High Court -- had accepted this fact that idols were put inside the Babri mosque illegally, in 1949, till then the five-time prayers were being offered in the mosque, and its demolition was 'an illegal act', the Jamiat said.

'It is perplexing that how the mosque was given to the Hindu parties despite Muslims having offered namaz more than 90 years there? What does it mean and this is beyond everybody's comprehension?' the Muslim body said.

The Jamiat panel quoted retired Supreme Court Judge Ashok K Ganguly's discontent with the apex court's decision of giving the land to the Centre for the construction of a Ram temple and said that the minorities have been 'wronged', the statement said.

'It is also perplexing that the bench did not accept the deity Ram Lalla as the owner of the land but handed over the mosque to the Hindu parties,' Jamiat said.

'If we assumed that the court had used Article 142 of Constitution which gives it special powers, for delivering this judgment, it was not based on merit and evidence and defied all reasons and logic,' Madani said.

Article 142 of the Constitution ordains to deliver judgment on the basis of evidence and proof, he said.

Madani, who attended a meeting of the AIMPLB in Lucknow, told reporters that it was not a 'prestige issue'. 'This is a matter of Sharia. We can neither give the mosque, nor take anything in lieu of it,' he added. PTI ASK ASK SMNSMN