09 December 2019
New Delhi: A group of 40 historians, academics and activists, including Irfan Habib, Harsh Mander, Nandini Sundar, Shabnam Hashmi and Akar Patel, has moved the Supreme Court seeking a full-bench review of its November 9 judgement in Ayodhya title dispute.
"The faith of one of the communities was consequently regarded higher than the other, thereby violating the secular principle embedded in the Constitution", said the petitioners.
The review petition urged the apex court to institute a full bench for hearing the review petition, as this is not merely a title dispute but "a contestation about the core of India's constitutional morality, and the principles of equal citizenship, secularism, justice, rule of law and fraternity."
The petition contended that the balance of probabilities was erroneously observed to be in favour of the Hindu parties by the apex court.
The top court through its judgement ordered construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site and allocated five-acre land elsewhere in Ayodhya for the construction of the mosque.
The petition said the top court erred in coming to a conclusion based on the fact that Hindus had proved to be worshipping in the outer courtyard since 1857, but also proved to worship in the inner courtyard prior to 1857, and the Muslim parties failed to prove exclusive possession of the inner courtyard.
The petition said: "However, the court failed to appreciate that neither parties had proved exclusive ownership of the land." Instead, the court provided exclusive ownership of the disputed land to the Hindu worshippers, and completely excluded Muslim worshippers from access to the land.
The petition said that the court did not acknowledge in its judgment the wanton debasement of the law in the two cases, desecration of the mosque by illegally placing idols and then demolition of the mosque.
"It (top court) also overlooks that these crimes took the toll of hundreds of innocent lives in communal violence that rocked the country from 1989 to early 1993, and that their unhealed wounds continue to tear apart the country decades later", said the petition.
"The court by categorically ruling in favour of the so-called Hindu parties provided legal recognition of these illegal acts. Because of this, the court's decision is dangerously complicit in the violation of constitutional principles," said the review petition challenging the Ayodhya judgement.
Earlier, a clutch of review petitions were filed by Muslim parties. Five review petitions have been supported by All India Muslim Personal Law Board.