Five pleas seek review of Supreme Court’s Ayodhya judgment

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The petitions were filed by Mufti Hasbullah, Moulana Mahfoozur Rahman, Misbahuddin, Mohammad Umar and Haji Nahboob.

Five more review petitions “supported” by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board were filed in the Supreme Court Friday seeking review of its December 9 judgment giving the contentious site in Ayodhya to the Hindu parties to the dispute, stating that it “condones serious illegalities of destruction, criminal trespass and violation of rule of law including damaging the mosque and eventually destroying it”.

The petitions were filed by Mufti Hasbullah, Moulana Mahfoozur Rahman, Misbahuddin, Mohammad Umar and Haji Nahboob and said that “the de jure, indeed de facto, effect of the direction in the judgment is to destroy the (Babri) mosque if it still existed” and that the review “is part of a quest for justice”.

They said that the “purpose of this review petition is not to disturb the peace of this great Nation but in the spirit that any peace must be conducive to justice. In respect of this case Muslims has always maintained the peace but Muslims and their properties have been victim of violence and unfairness treatment... The judgment under Review erred in privileging peace over justice while not appreciating that there could be no peace without justice.”

The petitioners claimed “giving antecedent title to the Hindus, means that the site belonged to them in l992” and that the “judgment thus takes advantage of the destruction of the mosque in effectively holding that had the mosque not been destroyed in l992, this judgment would have ordered it to be destroyed”.

“Although the judgment claims that title had to be based on secular grounds and values... the emphasis on prayer and belief in the judgment shows that it was entirely based on Hindu faith and belief...”

The Muslim parties said that title could not have been given to Hindu parties on the basis of exclusive possession of the entire site which never existed at any point in time with the Hindus since it is admitted that Muslims entered and prayed at the site till December 1949 and were subsequently “prevented from doing so because of the attachment while unfairly permitting Hindu worship following criminal trespass”.

It said the court had “erred in accepting the juristic personality of the idol entitled it to the 3 domed structure and the courtyard while holding that the idol was illegally and forcibly put there. An idol as deity cannot be simultaneously illegally placed and legally valid to claim the title”.

The court, they said, had not considered that there was a dedication of the mosque which was self-evident from the inscriptions and erred in holding that the waqf was not established by use though continuous possession and prayer by Muslims were shown at all times.

The petitioners said that Muslims had never asked for the five acres of land and that “...awarding the entire disputed land to the Hindus, shows that exercise under Article 142 did not meet the test of complete justice”.

The review petitions reiterated that Muslims were in possession of the Babri Mosque and were offering namaz regularly since 1528, after its construction, till December 22, 1949, when idols were placed inside, and added that “therefore the finding... that Muslims failed to prove their possession and use of Mosque from date of construction till 1857 is not based on evidence and is manifestly erroneous”.