The Supreme Court of India, which currently hearing the Ayodhya dispute on a daily basis has set an October 18 deadline for conclusion of hearings in the Ram-Janmabhoomi Babri Masjid land title dispute.
This move is indicative of a possible verdict in the case which has been dragged for years now, in the middle of November.
The target date for completion of arguments by both the Hindu and Muslim sides assumes significance as Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who is heading the five-judge Constitution bench hearing the case, is due for a retirement on November 17.
The apex court also said the parties, that the dispute can resolved through mediation if they want to, but told lawyers from both the sides that it wanted to conclude the day-to-day hearings by October 18 so that the judges get almost four weeks time to write the judgment.
The bench of judges said that, the day-to-day proceedings in the land dispute case have reached “an advanced stage” and will continue.
The speculations on the outcome of the final hearing are running high. Let is analyze few basic issues related to this much awaited closure on the dispute.
Reasons for building a temple at the site:
It holds sentimental value to hindus- there exists numerous evidence through ASI excavation that there stood a temple at the disputed site. And that temple was of Shri Ram a revered God of Hindus. So Hindus right to worship comes before the Muslims right to have a monument.
Legally too, if something that belonged to Hindus which was usurped by the others, Hindus have every right to reclaim it.
Morally, it is a known fact that India had been a Hindu nation before subjected to invasion by the Islamic rulers. The countries ancestry and cultural sub conscious is all about being a Hindu and there is no denying that our roots are all same.
Mir Baqi, Babur’s general razed the temple to have mosque built at Ram Janmabhoomi. But the recently produced evidences make it clear that the term Babri Masjid is coined in late 17th century not earlier than that.
The court had asked for proof of lineage of Shri Ram surviving till date. And two families have approached the bench with sufficient proofs to prove the point that they are descendeds of Shri Ram.
If court consider these points, then a clear verdict on favourite of reinstatement of Ram Lalla can be expected.
As usual the other litigate in the case Sunni Waqf Board is requesting for one more chance to solve this issue outside court through mediation.
This time though, the court has clearly stated that mediation can be carried on but court would like to end the discussions on the said case by 18th if October.
These tactics had been seen many times in the past too,which had caused unnecessary delay in the court proceedings.
The Shia Waqf Board had even blamed Congress Party and radical Sunni Muslims for the delay in judgement of Ayodhya case. Shia Waqf Board since long has been siding with the construction of Ram Mandir.
Finally there is an another important and interesting point to solve the dispute.
The central government interference. But how?
As per the veteran politician, statician Shri Subramanian Swamy, there is a provision which enables the Modi government to go ahead with the construction of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya, without getting into any legal issue.
Modi government can announce the commencement of construction of Ram Mandir through Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas Samiti or VHP.
The entire 67.703 acres belongs to Union Government. When the apex court finally decides the case, compensation can be given to those on whose side the decision comes out. But not land.
The Union government has the right to take over anybody’s land in public interest. The government just need to assure the Supreme Court that due compensation will be given to all parties in the Ramjanmabhoomi – Babri Masjid land dispute and allocate the “disputed” land for building the Ram Temple.
Supreme Court can decide upon the compensation, and that will be paid by the government to the winning appellant.
The PV Narasimha Rao government had nationalised the entire land, both disputed and undisputed, therefore the Supreme Court can only be concerned about compensation.
As per the amendments in 1993 and in 1994, a Constitution Bench of the SC upheld the nationalisation as valid. Thereafter all the parties except the Ramjanmabhumi Nyas Samiti accepted the compensation paid by the government for the land nationalization.
There is also a point that, as a generosity, both the parties can be paid compensation if they withdraw their respective appeals in the SC before adjudication.
When supreme court is aware of these legal points, even if no one can predict the exact outcome, it is definite that, a historic judgement can be expected.
Dr Sindhu Prashanth