Ayodhya Hearing: Live Updates from Supreme Court [Day 6]

Ayodhya Hearing: Live Updates from Supreme Court [Day 6]

Bar & Bench

The hearing in the case relating to the Ayodhya/Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir case is currently underway at the Supreme Court of India.

The case is being heard by a Constitution Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer.

The Ayodhya case was referred to a Constitution Bench on January 9 this year. Earlier, a three-judge Bench had  declined to refer the matter to a larger Bench.

In March this year, the Bench referred the Ayodhya dispute to a mediation panel comprising of former Supreme Court judge Justice FMI Kalifulla, spiritualist Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and Senior Advocate Sriram Panchu.

The hearing in the case had commenced on August 6, with arguments being made on behalf of the Nirmohi Akhara. In the following hearings, apart from the Nirmohi Akhara, submissions were also made on behalf of the deity Ram Lalla.

Read an account of Day 1 of the arguments here.

Accounts of the arguments made on Day 2 can be read here and here.

An account of arguments made on Day 5 can be read here.

Live updates of today’s hearing in the Ayodhya case follow:

  • Day 6 hearing in progress in Supreme Cour; Senior Advocate CS Vaidyanathan continuing submissions on behalf of Ram Lalla.
  • Vaidyanathan referring to various European books which describe the city of Ayodhya and also to constructions/ temples in the city dedicated to Lord Ram.
  • A book speaking about demolition of temple and construction of mosque by either Babar or Aurangzeb being relied upon by Vaidyanathan.
  • The author of the book has narrated what he had heard, he has not witnessed anything. However, the book is of sufficient antiquity that it has credibility, Vaidyanathan.
  • The versions in various books by different European travellers now brings up the question of who allegedly demolished the temple – Babar or Aurangzeb, Vaidyanathan. Justice Chandrachud quizzing Vaidyanathan on the same.
  • Vaidyanathan says though there is difference of opinion on who demolished it, it is clear it was demolished before 1786.
  • And Baburnama is silent on the whole thing? asks Justice SA Bobde.
  • Yes. Babar ordered his military commander to build it, Vaidyanathan says.
  • And what is evidence of that, Bobde. J.
  • “Inscription on which substantial doubt has been cast”, Vaidyanathan
  • Rajeev Dhavan intervenes, says pages of Baburnama referring to the episode are missing. Vaidyanathan continues stating that what is important is that at the place of Janmasthan, another structure has been put up, either by Babur or Aurangzeb.
  • Vaidyanathan now referring to the work of Montgomery Martin a British surveyor of 19th century.
  • First reference to the mosque having been built by Babur is in the book Montogomery in 1838, Vaidyanathan.
  • Vaidyanathan referring to passages in the book which records that pillars of the mosque have pictures which are non-muslim and could have been taken from the temple or if there was no temple from the palace where Lord Ram lived.
  • These worka are being relied upon by me not to establish historical facts but to establish the faith and belief of people and religious significance the place holds to people. That is the context in which these works by Europeans are being relied upon.
  • Vaidyanathan now relying on a document from 1854 – The Gazetteer of Territory under East India Company.
  • “Close to the town on the east, are the extensive ruins said to be those of the fort of Rama, Hero of Ramayana”, Vaidyanathan quotes from the Gazetteer.
  • It has always been considered by Hindus to be the birthplace of Lord Ram Vaidyanathan.
  • Vaidyanathan now placing reliance on The Cyclopedia of India.
  • There are three mosques on the site of three Hindu shrines, Vaidyanathan.
  • Reports of Archeological Survey of India by Alexander Cunningham being relied upon by Vaidyanathan.
  • Bench rises for lunch, hearing to resume at 2 pm.

Post-Lunch Session

  • Bench assembles, hearing resumes. CS Vaidyanathan continuing with his arguments.
  • Vaidyanathan continues to trace history of Ayodhya based on various books.
  • The claim to the disputed place is based on faith and belief of people and that cannot be bifurcated, trifurcated etc, CS Vaidyanathan.
  • There is presence of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam. Things seem to have been quite fluid there, Justice DY Chandrachud. Vaidyanathan says all have had an influence. Speaks about revival of Hindusim by assimilating Buddhist and Jain principles.
  • Justice SA Bobde now querying on the conflict between Shias and Sunnis regarding the disputed site. What was the stance of Sunnis in that dispute? SA Bobde J. to Rajeev Dhavan.
  • Dhavan says that was a 1945 case, and does not affect the 1989 suit. Also refers to Allahabad HC judgment to set out the stance of Sunnis.
  • Apart from the fact that various facets of a valid mosque are absent, the fact that the structure was on ruins of temple at Janmasthan means that it is not a valid mosque as per Shariat law itself, argues CS Vaidyanathan.
  • Bench rises for the day, hearing to resume on Friday.

[Read Order]

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