Clash on Ayodhya title claim

New Delhi: The stand taken by Nirmohi Akhara clashes with that of Ram Lalla, the two parties in Ram Janmabhoomi title case.  Hence, the constitutional bench of Supreme Court while hearing the case told them to first mutually decide whose claim should be considered because both the parties are presenting their ownership claim.

Meanwhile, Dr Rajiv Dhawan told the court that suit no 3 and suit no 5 are linked together but both have differences in them hence they both have to reply to each other’s arguments, after which Muslim party will present their claim.

The court addressing the advocate of Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla said that on one side Nirmohi Akhara claims ownership on land while the advocate of Ram Lalla is saying that since the Ram’s birthplace is there, they have ownership claim.

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Hearing in the Ayodhya case in the Supreme Court continued for the second consecutive day on Wednesday when it heard arguments from senior lawyer K Parasaran, advocate for deity Ram Lalla and Sushil Jain, the counsel for Nirmohi Akhara.

Appearing for Ram Lala, Parasaran cited historical texts to argue that Lord Ram was born at a particular place in Ayodhya.

He submitted to the apex court Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that at least in three places in Valmiki Ramayana, it is mentioned that Sri Ram was born in Ayodhya.

Upon which, the Supreme Court asked, “whether Christ was born in Bethlehem? Has such a question ever arisen in any court?”

Parasaran, a former Attorney General, answered that he will have to check. The day’s hearing concluded after his arguments, which he will continue tomorrow.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court had sought evidence of possession of Ram Janmabhoomi from Nirmohi Akhara, one of the parties in the Ayodhya title dispute case, after the Hindu body contended that it had lost the records in a dacoity in 1982.

Senior advocate Sushil Kumar Jain, appearing for the Akhara, told the bench that the obstruction to worship and prayer is what forced them to file the civil suits.

“Not just my right of possession but my right of management has also been taken away,” he contended.

“There are some property rights which the Shebiat (temple custodian-priest) enjoys. It is not just office but proprietary rights are blended with it. These Shebiats are more than mere managers. They also have proprietary rights,” he added.

The Supreme Court clarified that Section 142 of the Limitation Act speaks of possession of the immovable property but does not talk about management and hence the possession of property and management of worship are two different things.

Yesterday, Akhara had told the top court that Muslims were not allowed to enter the temple gate since 1934 and it is in their possession since then.

A five-judge constitution bench is conducting a day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya title dispute case.

Earlier on August 2, the top court had observed that the mediation panel on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute failed to achieve an amicable settlement and decided to hold day-to-day hearings in the decades-old case from August 6.

Fourteen appeals are pending before the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict which ordered equal division of the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.

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