The Allahabad High Court’s Sep 30 verdict on the Ayodhya dispute was Monday challenged by a petitioner in the Supreme Court.
The appeal was filed by Mohammad Siddiq alias Hafiz Mohammad Siddiq on behalf of 90-year-old organisation Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind (JUH). Siddiq is the general secretary of the JUH, which had taken part in the country’s independence struggle.
The appeal raised 33 questions of law and facts seeking to be addressed by the apex court.
A three-judge special bench of the high court had ordered division of the disputed 90 ft x 120 ft Ayodhya plot of land where the Babri Masjid once stood into three parts – one to Ram Lalla deity, one to the Nirmohi Akhara and one to the Sunni Waqf Board .
The JUH questioned whether the high court while deciding the case travelled beyond the pleadings of the parties because in none of the suit there was any prayer for the partition of the site.
It has also asked whether the high court could have taken the support of a report of the Archaeological Survey of India which had no evidentiary value.
The petition said that the high court judgment said that the structure in question was a mosque. Merely because in some portion of that structure Hindu prayers were being performed did not change the ownership status, it said.
The petition also raised the question whether the high court could have re-written history while delivering the judgment substituting its role from an adjudicatory body on law to that of historians.
The two certainly had different spheres and different fields, meaning thereby the established history had to be applied in consonance with the facts contained therein, it said.
The petition said that the high court fell in serious error by passing decree on the basis of faith and belief.
The judgment and decree could not have proceeded since the law did not recognize the “faith” or “belief” for the purpose of a determination of issues between two or more litigating parties.
The petition said that the belief that Lord Ram was born on the site of Babri Masjid was not the same as that Lord Ram was the king of Ayodhya and son of King Dashrath.
Without naming the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its senior leader L.K. Advani, the petition said that the high court failed to take into account motives and vested political interests in nurturing such beliefs.
The petition said that the Ramjanmabhoomi movement of the 1980s-90s was aimed at political gains.
This agitation created a communal divide between Hindus and Muslims, it said.
The petition expressed its surprise over a high court judge having “castigated and passed extremely uncharitable remarks against some of the expert witnesses of history/archaeology produced by Muslims”.
While no such comments were made against the so-called expert witnesses produced by the Hindus related to the construction of the disputed building and giving much more self-contradictory statements, it said.