Ayodhya case in SC: Bench demands 'objective' documentary evidence on existence of Ram temple after Hindu parties argue based on religious texts

  • aidyanathan, submitting that the property itself is a deity by virtue of being the 'birthplace' of Lord Ram, argued that there was 'never' any adverse possession in the case

  • 'The property itself being the birthplace of Ram and a deity, it is res extra commercium. Thus, there is no question of anyone putting up a mosque there and claiming adverse possession,

  • After hearing the arguments of both, Vaidyanathan and Mishra, the bench asserts that documentary evidence of the temple, in addition to 'objective parameters', were needed in the arguments presented.

The ninth day of the Ayodhya case hearing in the Supreme Court progressed with the advocate for Ram Lalla Virajman, CS Vaidyanathan, continuing his arguments on behalf of the deity. Wednesday was the third day of Vaidyanathan's submissions, during which the lawyer said that there had been "no adverse possession" in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi land dispute.

In law, 'adverse possession' refers to when an owner's land is occupied by someone with the intention of possessing it as his or her own.

Vaidyanath also asserted that there was "no question" of building a mosque at the site because it was 'res extra commercium'. The Latin term refers to a doctrine in Roman law which means 'a thing outside commerce'. The term refers to "holding that certain things may not be the object of private rights, and are therefore insusceptible to being traded".

CS Vaidyanathan submits no adverse possession in case, says sanctity of site 'always remains'

 Ayodhya case in SC: Bench demands objective documentary evidence on existence of Ram temple after Hindu parties argue based on religious texts

Supreme Court of India. Reuters

Vaidyanathan, submitting that the property itself is a deity by virtue of being the "birthplace" of Lord Ram, argued that there was "never" any adverse possession in the case. "Hindus have always expressed their desire to worship at this place. The property itself being the birthplace of Ram and a deity, it is res extra commercium. Thus, there is no question of anyone putting up a mosque there and claiming adverse possession," he said.

The counsel for Ram Lalla Virajman also asserted that the disputed site in Ayodhya was inalienable, which means the property "cannot be transferred, sold, or dealt with in any manner".

Vaidyanathan also said, "There cannot be a destruction of an idol or temple. Even if there is no temple, the place itself has sanctity which will always remain."

A temple's trustee or a shebait — a person who 'serves' the deity and has rights to the idol and temple that go beyond an office of a trustee — cannot alienate the temple's property in Hindu law, "unlike in Mohammaden law", Vaidyanathan submitted.

"This place due to the very fact that Ram was born here has divinity and needs to be treated differently," CS Vaidyanathan argued.

CJI asks CS Vaidyanathan to close arguments

In the session after the lunch break, during which Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi was expected to hear an urgent plea of former finance minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram against his arrest by the CBI and ED in the INX Media corruption case, the Constitution Bench hearing the Ayodhya case asked Vaidyanathan to close his arguments.

In closing, Vaidyanathan argued that "most" of the findings in the suit number 4 were in the favour of his client, the deity Ram Lalla Virajman. "The trial was by a Full Bench of the (Allahabad) High Court. Supreme Court should be circumspect while interfering with the findings of the High Court," he said in conclusion.

PN Mishra begins arguments on behalf of Ram Janmabhoomi Punaruddhar Samiti

Senior advocate PN Mishra advanced his arguments on Wednesday on behalf of the Ram Janmabhoomi Punaruddhar Samiti. Referring to the Atharva Veda as a basis for his arguments, Mishra said he would prove that "based on our doctrine, tenets, and beliefs, it's a temple".

"It is our case that Babur never built a mosque there (at the disputed site in Ayodhya) and that Hindus have been worshipping at that place all along," Mishra said. The advocate also referred to the Skanda Purana, which was also relied on by Vaidyanathan in his initial arguments. In addition to the religious text about the Mahabharata, Mishra also referred to the Ramayana written by Valmiki to argue the "exact" location of the Ram Janmasthan.

Justice DY Chandrachud says 'no relevance' about who built mosque at Ayodhya site, cites importance of objective evidence

After hearing the arguments of both, Vaidyanathan and Mishra, the bench asserted that documentary evidence of the temple, in addition to "objective parameters", were needed in the arguments presented. "Hindu texts as the basis for faith is not disputed; what we really need are objective parameters, documentary evidence for the temple," the bench was quoted as saying by Bar and Bench.

The Constitution Bench also reiterated that it was "more interested in objective evidence than references to scriptures". Justice DY Chandrachud also questioned the line of argument to establish who had built the mosque in place of the Ram temple at Ayodhya, if at all.

"What is the relevance of who built the mosque — be it Babur or somebody else? Was there a mosque? That's what is relevant," Justice Chandrachud said.

Bench postpones hearing Ram Janmabhoomi Punaruddhar Samiti's plea, asks Hindu Mahasabha to present arguments

The Supreme Court bench asked the counsel for the president of the Hindu Mahasabha, VN Sinha, to present arguments in the case after postponing Mishra's plea. However, Sinha is found to be unprepared by the bench, to which the lawyer says that he didn't expect to be able to present arguments on Wednesday. "I thought I would be asked to argue at the very end", says Sinha.

The bench concluded the arguments in the case for the day for Thursday.

Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara, and "Ram Lalla Virajman".

Babri Masjid was demolished by right-wing activists on 6 December, 1992 in Ayodhya, leading to the protracted legal battle.

Read Supreme Court hearing on Ayodhya case Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8 here.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Aug 21, 2019 20:42:06 IST