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Supreme Court has condoned illegal acts: Review Petition filed against Ayodhya judgment

Aditya AK

A petition has been filed seeking a review of the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Ayodhya dispute case. 

The review petitioners have claimed that the illegal acts committed by Hindu parties at the Babri Masjid have been condoned by the Supreme Court through its judgment.

“…this Hon’ble Court has acknowledged few of the several illegalities committed by the Hindu Parties, particularly in 1934 (damaging the domes of the Babri Masjid), 1949 (desecrating the Babri Masjid) and 1992 (demolition of the Babri Masjid), however, this Hon’ble Court has proceeded to condone those very illegal acts and has awarded the disputed site to the very party which based its claims on nothing but a series of illegal acts.”

Moreover, it is noted that none of the Muslim parties had prayed for the allotment of separate land.

It is further stated that though the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Board of Waqfs – the original plaintiff in Suit No. 4 – is not preferring a review petition, the suit was filed in a representative capacity for the entire Muslim community.

The petition goes on to state that not all findings of the Court are being challenged. The review petitioners have agreed with the findings of the Court that Suit No. 3 was barred by limitation, Ram Janmabhoomi does not have juristic personality, deity is not a perpetual minor for purposes of limitation, and that there was no evidence that the preexisting structure was demolished to construct the Babri Mosque, among others.

A list of apparent errors warranting the review of the Ayodhya Verdict, as stated in the petition, include:

(i) This Hon’ble Court erred in granting a relief which virtually amounts to a mandamus to destroy the Babri Masjid.

(ii) This Hon’ble Court erred in rewarding the crimes committed in 1934, 1949 and 1992, by giving title to the Hindu parties, when it had already ruled that the said acts were illegal. 

(iii)  This Hon’ble Court erred in disregarding the basic principle that no person can derive benefit out of an illegality while granting title to the Hindu parties.

(v)  This Hon’ble Court erred in wrongly applying Article 142 of the Constitution as doing complete justice or restituting the illegality could only be done by directing the reconstruction of the Babri Masjid.

(vii)  This Hon’ble Court committed an error apparent by not appreciating that the structure in question had always been a mosque and had been in exclusive possession of the Muslims.
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(xii)  This Hon’ble Court erred in equating wanton acts of destruction and trespass committed by the Hindu parties to acts of assertion of claim over the disputed site.

(xiii)  This Hon’ble Court erred in not appreciating that the Babri mosque was a Waqf property.

(xiv)  This Hon’ble Court erred in unevenly appreciating evidence and giving precedence to oral testimonies of the Hindu parties vis a vis the contemporary documentary evidence of the Muslim parties, which resulted in incorrect application of doctrine of preponderance of probabilities. 

On the basis of these grounds and more, the review petitioners have sought a stay the operation of the judgment of the Supreme Court dated November 9. Alternatively/additionally, a stay on the order passed by the Allahabad High Court in 2010 has also been called for.

Further, a direction restraining the Central government from taking any steps pursuant to the Ayodhya Verdict has also been prayed for.

The review petition has been filed by Advocate Ejaz Maqbool.

On November 9 this year, the Supreme Court had held that the title to the disputed site at Ayodhya vests in the Hindu parties. The Constitution Bench had also held that a suitable plot of land measuring five acres would be handed over to the Sunni Waqf Board for construction of a Mosque.

The Court also directed the Centre to come up with a scheme envisaging the setting up of a trust. The scheme should provide for construction of a temple at the dispute site, the Court observed.

The unanimous verdict was rendered by a five-judge Constitution Bench of former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer.

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