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Errors of major import in SC Ayodhya order: Curative plea

The petition, filed by Peace Party chief Mohammed Ayub, has urged the top court to reconsider its decision

Wednesday January 22, 2020 2:24 PM, Sumit Saxena, IANS

Curative Petition Against Ayodhya Verdict

New Delhi: A curative petition, filed in the Supreme Court challenging the Ayodhya order, also questions the unknown addenda that focus on relevance of Hindu faith, associated with the dispute, at the end of the main judgement.

Curiously, the five-judge Bench delivered the unanimous verdict, but an addendum was added by an unknown author.

The petition, filed by Peace Party chief Mohammed Ayub, has urged the top court to reconsider its decision.

On November 9, the Supreme Court granted the disputed site to the Hindu side for construction of a temple and on December 11 dismissed the review petitions. Ayub had also filed a review petition.

The curative petition contends the purpose of the addenda is not known. "A judgment may be delivered unanimously or it may be divided into a number of majority, concurring, plurality, and dissenting opinions. However, curiously, while the judgment was delivered unanimously and signed by all the five judges, one of them seems to have recorded a different reasoning," it said.

The petition queries the nature of association of this addendum with the main order. "Does it form a part of the judgment and law under Article 129? In normal practice, an addenda specify if it's an integral part of the main document," said the petition.

The petition contends a reasonable inference that can be drawn that since there is no such declaration, it's not an integral part of the judgment. "However, it begs the question what's the purpose of adding addenda, if the judgment is unanimous and not a concurring opinion," it said.

"...the conclusion that faith and belief of Hindus since prior to construction of mosque and subsequent thereto has always been that Janmasthan of Lord Ram is the place where Babri Mosque has been constructed, which faith and belief is proved by documentary and oral evidence discussed...," the addendum said.

The author observed that evidence on record clearly established the Hindus' faith and belief that the mosque was constructed at the birth place of Lord Ram, and the three-dome structure was the birth place of the deity.

"The fact that Hindus were, by constructing iron wall dividing the mosque premises, kept outside the three-dome structure can't be said to alter their faith and belief regarding the birth place of Lord Ram. The worship on the Ram Chabutra in the outer courtyard was symbolic worship of Lord Ram who was believed to be born at the premises," said the judge.

The author also observed that it was only during the British period that a grill was built, dividing the walled premises of the mosque into an inner courtyard and outer courtyard.

"Grilled iron wall was constructed to keep Hindus outside the grilled iron wall in the outer courtyard. In view of the construction of the iron wall, the worship and puja started at Ram Chabutra in the outer courtyard. The suit of 1885 was filed seeking permission to construct temple on the said Chabutra where worship was permitted by the British," said the judge.

The curative petition claimed the award of the title should have been based on exclusive and unimpeded possession. "Muslims were in possession of the mosque till it was desecrated and the Hindus came to be in possession of the mosque by illegal acts and the same can't be equated to lawful possession," it said.

The petitioner contended the top court judgement had errors of consequential import.

(Sumit Saxena can be contacted at sumit.s@ians.in)

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