The Supreme Court on Thursday resumed hearing in the Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute case for the 10th day with Senior Advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for Gopal Singh Visharad, one of the original litigants saying that his client’s right of worship should be continued at the disputed site.
“I am making my submissions with reference to Parasaran and Vaidyanathan’s submissions that the place is itself a divine site and that I being the worshipper my right to worship which is a civil right should not be curtailed,” Kumar told the Constitution Bench comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S A Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan, S Abdul Nazeer.
The senior counsel then based his arguments by placing certain orders and the exhibits before the bench.
“The affidavits which were filed pursuant to the 145 order have not been accepted by the trial court,” and read an order of the trail court passed on Dec 29, 1949 where the Muslim party was called at the Ayodhya Police station and to submit their written statements.
He further said: “The notice was to be published in the Hindu Daily, Muslim Daily and English Daily. The only ground why the exhibits and affidavits were not accepted by the Court was because the deponents were not present during cross examination.”
Kumar also cited a statement given by one Abdul Ghani who said that the disputed site was referred as Ramjanmabhoomi and that the Mosque was built on the disputed site where articles and idols have been recovered which is against the tenets of Shariat Law and that the disputed site should be handed over to the Hindus.
To which the bench asked: “Whether Abdul Ghani was a Shia or a Sunni.”
Kumar replied: “I have instructions to say that he was a sunni Muslim.”
He continued: “There were 14 affidavits filed by 20 persons saying that there existed a temple at the disputed site the record of which was brought on record by Gopal Singh Visharad before the High Court.”
The bench asked: “Where is the application by which you brought on record these affidavits and what was the order of the magistrate with regard to it?”
Kumar answered: “There has been continues worship and my right of worship cannot be denied,” citing two judgments where right of worship has been upheld.
He further read the definition of a Hindu in context with his right to worship as cited in various judgments.
“Temple worship is a part of Hindu worship. it has been observed that the true beneficiary of a temple are its worshippers,” said Kumar while citing a judgment.
“My right of worship has been in continuance since a long time and should be allowed in future too and should not be curtailed,” he concluded.
Thereafter, Advocate B N Sinha appearing for Hindu Mahasabha starting his arguments and said: “Hindus was here since time immemorial and before annexation.”
Sinha said that since the Counsel who was proceeding with the case died in October 2018 and hence they could not have the opportunity to trace the course of events and some time to prepare his case.
The bench permits him to present his submissions later.
After Sinha, Sushil Kumar Jain appearing for Nirmohi Akhara began his submissions saying “I am claiming possession, right to perform puja and shebaitship”.
The bench asked Jain: “You are claiming possession over which area?”
Sinha responded: “I am claiming possession of both inner and outer courtyard. I am looking after the property from the very beginning and my name appears in all the documents right from the beginning. The suit should have been filed from 1934 when the Muslims were not allowed to perform Namaz and not from 1949.”
The matter will continue tomorrow.
—India Legal Bureau