Ayodhya case should refer to larger bench, pleads Muslim Law Board counsel

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Babri Masjid

By Abdul Bari Masoud

New Delhi:  The Sunni Waqf Board and the Muslim Personal Law Board and other Muslim petitioners on Friday pleaded to the Supreme Court that the Babri Masjid-Ram Janam Bhumi title suit case should be referred to a larger bench (Constitutional Bench) as “the issue was far more important than that of polygamy and “very sensitive” because it is related to “the Indian Constitution, secularism, relations between two communities and others factors”. However, the top court refused to entertain the plea immediately which heard case today and fixed the next hearing on April 27.

Appearing for the Muslim Personal Law Board in the Ayodhya case, senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan made the plea before a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, which said it will take a decision on referring the case to a larger bench after hearing all parties to the litigation.

“The Ayodhya land dispute is far more important than polygamy among Muslims and the whole nation wants an answer,” Dhavan told the bench and underlined the “glaring discrepancies in the judgment delivered by the apex court in 1994.

However, the bench said that it will first hear arguments on behalf of all the litigants in the matter, including the Sunni Waqf Board and the Uttar Pradesh state government, and then come to a decision on whether to refer the case to a larger bench.

Arguing the status of a mosque under the light of Qura’n and Sunnat’, he said many injustices were done to the Muslim community from the very beginning of this dispute.

First, the mosque was locked in 1949 after idols of Lord Ram were surreptitiously installed inside it and then 1986, without asking the real owner, the lock was opened and allowed Hindus to worship there and in 1992 the mosque was demolished and in 2010 instead of delivering judgment on title of the mosque, the Allahabad High Court’s Lucknow bench divided the mosque in three parts, Board counsel said.

He presented a number of arguments for referring the case to a larger bench.

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