Ayodhya hearing: Essence of Hindu faith argued before SC

New Delhi


The fourth day of hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case in Ayodhya in the Supreme Court focused on the applicability of law on temple, idols and 'janmasthan' (birthplace) -- a confluence contributing to the Hindu faith.

Senior advocate K. Parasaran (93), appearing for the Ram Lalla Virajman, argued the matter the entire day before a Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. Parasaran began his arguments in the second half on Wednesday, the second day of the five-days-a-week hearing in the politically sensitive case.

On Friday, Parasaran argued on the essence of Hindu religion and how the birth of Lord Ram was connected to the faith of millions of people. He apprised the judges that Lord Ram was an 'avatar' (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu, and it was for the Hindu faith that Ayodhya was chosen as his birthplace. Therefore, 'janmasthan' was directly connected with Hindu faith.

Parasaran argued that a juridical person, subject to law, can drive the interest or faith of a community as an object, and it was for the court to protect such interests.

The veteran advocate said that he was not seeking control over the entire Ayodhya region, but only a defined place where the Hindu faith believed that Lord Ram was born.

Earlier during the day, Parasaran cited temple as a juridical person, subject to law, and argued to establish the significance of faith.

He submitted before the Constitution bench that even hills were worshipped as deities and recalled the 'parikramas' in Thiruvannamalai and Chitrakoot. 

For the past two days, Parasaran has been arguing on the essence of faith as evidence and the nature in which it was connected with deity and birthplace. 

One of the judges on the bench queried that there was evidence that a 'parikrama' was noticed around the 'janmasthan' in Ayodhya too and whether that would lend some sanctity to the 'janmasthan.'

Parasaran argued about establishing the deity as a juridical person, subject to law. 

He emphasised that in Hinduism, form was not essential. Deity in Hindu 'shastras' (religious scriptures) could be the smallest particle, even smaller than atom. "Hinduism is a way of life," he emphasised. He also cited the importance of temple as a juridical person in terms of worship. 

During the arguments, he drew the court's attention to the importance of 'janmasthan'. "It is connected with the significance of that particular area. And that is why temple is not referred to as 'janmasthan'," Parasaran argued, making the distinction between place of birth and temple.

The Nirmohi Akhara, another party in matter, had argued earlier that the suit was covered by Article 47 of the Limitation Act 1908, as under Section 145 of the CrPC, the property was under the magistrate's attachment. Therefore, the limitation period began only after the final order of the magistrate, it said.

But since the magistrate did not pass any final order on the matter, the cause of action remains in continuity, and therefore, no question of law suit being barred by limitation can be taken into consideration. 

According to the law, the limitation period for recovery of possession is 12 years. In this case, the dispossession happened in 1950, and the law suit was filed in 1959, therefore it was within limitation. 

The counsel for Nirmohi Akhara sought restoration of 'shebait' (custodian of the temple) rights for the management of the temple, which included proprietary rights. 

"The dispossession took place in 1950 and as a consequence, 'shebait' rights were directly affected," argued the Akhara's counsel.

The 16th century Babri Masjid was razed by a mob in Ayodhya in Faizabad district on December 6, 1992 and a makeshift temple for Lord Ram was built at the site. Hindus claim the mosque was built at the birthplace of Lord Ram. IANS