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On the eleventh day of the hearing of Ramjanambhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute, Senior Counsel Sushil Kumar Jain appearing for Nirmohi Akhara told the Supreme Court that he was claiming title as a shebait and not as a title holder.

“Plaintiff no. 2 is not a Juridical person. I have filed my suit on the basis of charge and management and not title. As a shebait the land belongs to me. I am pleading waqf as a shebait.  Waqf is an endowment it is not only used by Muslims,” Jain told the constitution bench comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S A Bobde,
D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan, S Abdul Nazeer.

The bench asked Jain: “Waqf is used by Muslims and are you saying that the temple is a mosque.”

Jain replied: “I am claiming the waqf property as a Shebait. The word waqf is an endowment of God and is not only related to Muslims. The temple belongs to Nirmohi Akhara.”

The bench again asked: “Are you claiming that suit no. 5 be dismissed? How can you be a shebait of an entity whose suit you want to be dismissed?”

Jain answered: “Suit 5 is not maintainable.”

CJI asked: “Are you admitting the claim of plaintiff no. 1.”

Jain responded: “Yes. My shebait rights have not been challenged by the Hindu side. We have been fighting for this temple since centuries and my name appears everwhere.”

Justice Bobde asked: “Is there any documentary evidence which suggests you are a shebait?”

Jain replied: “I would like to begin with the oral evidence first. Suit 1 is only for inner portion. In suit no.1 in a statement they have specifically mentioned that the deity was there inside before 1934. The outer portion was not challenged.”

Jain read the cross examination of one of the witnesses stating that there is no difference between Gopal Singh Visharad and Nirmohi Akhara.

The matter will again be heard on Aug 26.

—India Legal Bureau

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