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Mosque was built on a temple’s ruins, argues Hindu body in SC

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Babri Demolition

New Delhi, Aug 13 (IANS) On Tuesday, the fifth day of hearing in the Ayodhya case at the Supreme Court, Hindus submitted that a temple was destroyed and a mosque was built over it. Such an act couldn’t deprive the deity and the temple of the ownership of the place, they said.

Though the Muslim parties objected to the proceedings, the court brushed aside their opposition.

Advocate C.S. Vaidyanathan, appearing for deity Ram Lalla Virajman, cited the Allahabad High Court judgement where a judge restricted the Lord Ram’s birthplace to the central dome of the mosque and, through a map identified the circular path for ‘parikrama’ by devotees to complete their worship. Therefore, the area under the ‘parikrama’ also became a place of the deity, Vaidyanathan submitted.

“The three-judge Bench of the Allahabad HC also held that there was a temple at the disputed area. Justice S.U. Khan had identified that mosque was built on the temple’s ruins. Therefore, the mosque was not built on the vacant land”, submitted Vaidyanathan.

Drawing an inference for his arguments, Vaidyanathan said if judges had concurred that there was a temple before the mosque, then the deity’s possession right should be accepted. As the deity was never alienated from the property, there could not be adverse possession of it, he argued.

Justice D Y Chandrachud, one of the judges of the Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, queried Vaidyanathan, how would the court proceed in the light of the Allahabad HC verdict, which favoured joint possession of both parties?

To this Vaidyanathan submitted the ouster of the Hindu deity from the site was never established. Neither was established the exclusive possession of the Muslim side. Therefore, it’s logical to say those who offered prayers from the time immemorial should retain their rights. Muslim couldn’t present any document to show their ownership, thus how could they establish adverse possession, he said.

Justice Ashok Bhushan then intervened saying the Muslim side has claimed exclusive possession of the site. When Vaidyanathan argued the high court didn’t accept that, the judge quipped: “We don’t have to go just by the findings of the high court.”

CJI Gogoi also asked Vaidyanathan to answer how Ram Lala Virajman established its exclusive title while countering the suit by the Sunni Waqf Board.

The counsel argued a place could also be considered a deity by virtue of belief by millions, and it’s the divinity of the deity. Vaidyanathan also cited the Supreme Court judgment to claim presence of idol was not the sole condition for existence of a temple. “If people believe in its religious worth, the condition is automatically met,” contended Vaidyanathan.

K Parasaran, also appearing for Ram Lalla Virajman, concluding his arguments submitted that the court must deliver complete justice in all the matter before it.

Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for a Muslim party, objected to the line of argument by the Hindu parties and informed the court he didn’t favour the way the proceedings were being carried out.

Dhavan said lawyers from the Hindu side had not exhibited anything yet, rather than reading out from the Allahabad HC judgement. “This is a case of hop, skip and jump. No exhibit or evidence has been placed yet. In fact, most citations was not admitted by the HC”, argued Dhavan.

When the Chief Justice said the Muslim parties would get their time, Dhavan replied, “I hope you do”. To that the Chief Justice told Dhavan that from day one he had been making snide remarks at the Bench. Let it be loud and clear to all counsel appearing in the matter, we were not in hurry and they could take as much time as possible, the Bench said.

Ram Lalla Virajman’s counsel also presented P. Carnegie’s historical sketches on the importance of Ayodhya along with the British administration orders.

Vaidyanathan read out the gazetteer notices in 1850s to show that though complaints were lodged regarding the inner courtyard’s construction, nothing was removed and that included the Chabutara. Therefore, everything continued. “The British wanted everything to remain undisturbed,” said Vaidyanathan and added the deity predated the mosque.

When Justice S.A. Bobde asked Vaidyanathan, “You are saying the deity can’t be partitioned,” Vaidyanathan replied in affirmative. “There can’t be any division of the deity. If the place belongs to deity, then the construction of mosque can’t change the status of deity,” he argued.

The hearing will continue on Wednesday.

Against the 2010 Allahabad HC verdict, nearly 14 appeals have been filed in the apex court. The HC through its judgement, in four civil suits, partitioned the 2.77-acre land equally among the three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

India

Military officers, bureaucrats move SC over Article 370

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jammu and kashmir ladakh

New Delhi, Aug 17 (IANS) Six retired military officers and bureaucrats have filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the decision to revoke Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

The petitioners include Air Vice Marshal (Retd) Kapil Kak, Major General (Retd) Ashok Kumar Mehta, former IAS officers Hindal Haidar Tyabji, Amitabha Pande and Gopal Pillai, and former member of the Home Ministry’s group of interlocutors for J&K, Radha Kumar.

The petitioners said that the method of altering Article 370 by purporting to apply Article 367 with modifications to the state of Jammu and Kashmir is nothing but a fraud on the Constitution.

The petitioners have sought quashing of the Presidential Order as well as the Jammu & Kashmir (Reorganisation) Act, 2019.

This is the seventh petition filed in the Supreme Court challenging the abrogation of Article 370.

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Cities

Major fire in AIIMS, Emergency wing closed

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New Delhi, Aug 17 (IANS) A major fire broke out on a second floor of a building in the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) complex on Saturday evening. No casualty was reported but as a precautionary measure, the adjacent Emergency department has been closed and patients shifted elsewhere even as efforts to douse the blaze are on.

The fire broke out in the PC building, which is a teaching block and mainly comprises research labs. However, the Microbiology Department’s Virology unit was completely gutted while several samples and medical reports were destroyed.

Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who is currently undergoing treatment at AIIMS, is admitted at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the cardio-neuro centre, housed in a different building in the complex.

According to Atul Garg, Chief Fire Officer of Delhi Fire Services, a call regarding the fire was received at around 4.50 p.m. following which 34 fire tenders were rushed to the spot.


“The fire broke on the second floor in the PC building which does not have patients but is situated near the Emergency block. The fire was brought under control at around 6.30 p.m.,” said Garg adding that no casualty was reported.

Another fire official said the exact reason behind the fire is yet to be ascertained, though initial investigation suggests a short circuit.

As panic spread among people, authorities closed some nearby buildings housing the Emergency and other facilities and shifted the patients to other wards.

“As a precautionary measure, authorities closed the Emergency department which is adjacent to the building that caught fire,” a source in the hospital said, adding that B block, ward AB1, and super specialty OPD area of AIIMS have also been shut down.

“Patients were shifted to other wards from the Emergency department soon after the building caught fire,” the source added.

Sources in the Fire Department said that the blaze spread to the Emergency Lab in the department of Lab Medicine, where electricity work was going on for some time and cable and wire being used were kept.

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Man held for duping over 20 women on matrimonial sites

He used to target middle-aged unmarried/widowed/divorced women on matrimonial and dating sites and after befriending them on the pretext of marriage, he used to take money from them.

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New Delhi, Aug 17 (IANS) A 46-year-old man has been arrested from Meerut for allegedly defrauding over 20 women through matrimonial and dating sites, police said on Saturday.

The accused Gaurav Dhamija, a car spare parts dealer, mostly targeted widowed or divorced women and projected his virtual identity as a handsome, successful entrepreneur earning Rs 25-30 lakhs per annum.

“We had received a complaint at the Cyber Crime Unit/CyPAD, in which the complainant alleged that she has been defrauded by a fraudster who tricked her into depositing money after she showed interest in his very impressive profile on a matrimonial site. The fraudster, Dhamija, trapped her through a volley of emotional tricks such as calling the victim ‘Mrs Dhamija’ and promising to buy expensive gifts for her,” said Anyesh Roy, DCP (Cyber cell).

Police said that once the victim was emotionally trapped, he started asking for money on various pretexts such as parents’ treatment, business investment and other.

“The accused started with small sums and gradually escalated his demands. He kept asking for money but always avoided coming forward in real life. The victims kept paying him due to escalation of their commitment. It was only when the fraudster’s act became too brazen that they started demanding their money back, only to be threatened with dire consequences,” said Roy.

On the basis of the complaint, a case under suitable sections was registered and investigation was taken up, police said.

“During the course of investigation, technical details, including the digital footprints were collected. The accused, who is a resident of Nihal Vihar, Delhi, kept changing his location to evade arrest. His movements were tracked to Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and western UP. Finally, with the help of technical data and field inputs, the fraudster was arrested from Meerut,” said Roy.

During interrogation, he disclosed that he used to target middle-aged unmarried/widowed/divorced women on matrimonial and dating sites and after befriending them on the pretext of marriage, he used to take money from them.

“When they demanded the money back, he used to threaten them with dire consequences. It was also revealed that he also used to cheat some of these women by promising to get them jobs in schools and municipal bodies and used to take huge sums from them,” said Roy.

Police said they have found names of more than 20 victims disclosed by the accused who have been cheated by him. The victims are being identified and contacted to join the investigation.

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