Shia Waqf Board claims right over disputed Ayodhya land

“During the British period, between 1855-1945, the structure was referred as a mosque to draw communal lines between two sections of the society,” he told the Constitution bench.
Babri Masjid Ram Temple Supreme court
Babri Masjid Ram Temple Supreme court

New Delhi, Aug 30 (IANS) The Shia Waqf Board on Friday told the Supreme Court that the Allahabad High Court had concluded that Babri Masjid was a Shia waqf, and its order said that one-third of the disputed land should be given to Muslims, “not Sunnis”.

Advocate M.C. Dhingra, representing the Shia Waqf Board, told the Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, that by the implication of the High Court order, the one-third division of the land must go to Shias, “and we are ready to give our share to Hindus”.

He also insisted that the Shia Waqf Board never claimed any adverse possession, and were also not contesting the claims of the Hindus. “Between 1944-45, the Sunnis started interfering in the affairs of the Shia Waqf Board,” Dhingra contended.

Earlier, advocate Hari Shankar Jain, appearing for the Hindu Mahasabha, told the court that Mughal ruler Babar was an invader, and the rights of an invader cannot be institutionalised. “The black days of slavery are over,” he said, evidently referring to the end of Mughal Empire.

Jain also claimed that there is no oral or documentary evidence to establish that the structure at the disputed site between 1528 and 1855 was referred to as a mosque.

“During the British period, between 1855-1945, the structure was referred as a mosque to draw communal lines between two sections of the society,” he told the Constitution bench.

Earlier during the day, senior advocate P.N. Mishra, appearing for the Sri Ramjanmabhumi Punarudhar Samiti, told the apex court that there were bells on the premises of Babri Masjid, which indicated it could not have been a mosque, as under Islamic law, bells are forbidden in mosques.

He cited several “anomalies” apparent at the disputed structure — no mosque can come up in the proximity of a graveyard, floral designs present inside the disputed structure were not intrinsic to Islamic structures, the presence of kitchen in the premises is not allowed under Islamic law, absence of water reservoir inside etc.,

“If Muslims do not have documents establishing title of the property, then they cannot unjustly claim title of the property. Therefore, they cannot illegally acquire somebody’s property,” Mishra submitted.

The Hindu parties have completed their arguments in the Ayodhya dispute after 16 days, on the batch of 14 appeals challenging the 2010 Allahabad High Court dividing the disputed land into three parts – one to the Sunni Waqf Board, one to the Nirmohi Akhara and one to Ram Lalla.

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