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Even as the Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer resumed hearing of the contentious Ayodhya Ram Janambhoomi Babri Masjid land issue, the counsel for the Shia Wakf Board again reiterated that the matter need not be referred to the constitution bench and that it is ready to relinquish claims in national interest.

Thereafter senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan took over for his submissions. He said: “This constitution has preserved our democracy and rule of law.” Then, digressing, he added: “It is my view that just as the Bamiyan statues (Buddha) were destroyed by the Taliban, the Babri mosque was destroyed by Hindu Taliban.

“It cannot be that once it is destroyed then nothing can be done. Such an argument should not be allowed,” Dhavan added, saying: “We are a bona fide litigant; we accepted Ismali Faruqui judgment, because statutory reference was rejected. We had no occasion to seek setting aside of Ismail Faruqui.

“We had no reason to believe that the stray sentence in the said judgment had anything to do with merits of the case,” he added. “The most egregious distinction that can be made is that Muslims and Christians can go for pilgrimage outside India – Mecca, Medina and so on.”

The next hearing of the case is on July 20. Dhavan has said he will need one more hour to present his case.

India Legal Bureau

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