Ayodhya case in Supreme Court: Can janamsthanam be juristic person, asks CJI-led bench on day 3 of hearing

The apex court, which began hearing the case on a daily basis this Tuesday, said that as far as Hindu deities are concerned, they have been treated as a juristic entity in law, which can hold properties and institute litigation.

FP Staff August 08, 2019 16:33:54 IST
Ayodhya case in Supreme Court: Can janamsthanam be juristic person, asks CJI-led bench on day 3 of hearing
  • SC on Thursday asked Ram Lalla Virajman, one of the parties in the Ayodhya case, as to how the birthplace of a deity can be regarded as a 'juristic person' having stakes

  • The apex court, which began hearing the case on a daily basis this Tuesday, said that as far as Hindu deities are concerned, they have been treated as a juristic entity in law, which can hold properties and institute litigation

  • Reports also said that the case had been 'fast-tracked' in view of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi's retirement in November

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked Ram Lalla Virajman, one of the parties in the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute at Ayodhya, as to how the birthplace of a deity can be regarded as a "juristic person" having stakes in the case. The petition, as reported by The Leaflet, names ‘Janma Asthan’ as a juridical person.

The apex court, which began hearing the case on a daily basis this Tuesday, said that as far as Hindu deities are concerned, they have been treated as a juristic entity in law, which can hold properties and institute litigation. Reports also said that the case had been "fast-tracked" in view of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi's retirement in November.

The apex court is likely to hear the Ayodhya case five days a week, and the Constitution bench, also comprising Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, will not take a break on Mondays and Fridays.

Ayodhya case in Supreme Court Can janamsthanam be juristic person asks CJIled bench on day 3 of hearing

File image of Supreme Court of India. PTI

A five-judge Constitution bench, led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, however, asked senior advocate K Parasaran, who appeared for Ram Lalla Virajman, as to how the 'Janamsthanam' (birthplace) can file a suit in this matter as a party.

"Can the birthplace be held to be a juristic person? So far as idols of deities are concerned, they had been held to be a juristic person," said the bench.

Responding to the query, Parasaran told the bench, "In Hinduism, idols are not necessary for a place to be regarded as a holy place of worship... Rivers and the Sun are also worshipped in Hinduism and the birthplace in itself can be treated as a juristic person." The lawsuit, filed by the deity in the Ayodhya case, has also made the birthplace of Lord Ram as one of the parties.

The bench then referred to a judgment of the Uttarakhand High Court in which the river Ganga was held to be as a juristic entity entitled to pursue the litigation. "The Uttarakhand High Court has said that the rivers are also juristic entities capable of being a party in the case," the bench observed.

The bench then asked Parasaran to proceed with his submissions on other issues. Parasaran alleged that the deity Ram Lalla Virajaman was not made a party when the magistrate had attached the disputed site and when the civil court granted injunction by appointing receiver in the case.

Highlighting the importance of birthplace, Parasaran recited a Sanskrit shloka, and said that birthplace is greater than heaven.

At the outset, senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for a Muslim party, said that the two separate lawsuits filed by Ram Lalla Virajman and Nirmohi Akhara respectively are at "loggerheads" of each other and if one is allowed then other goes automatically.

He suggested that the Muslim party can be asked to advance submissions in either of the law suits as only can be allowed legally.

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 land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

On 6 December, 1992, the Babri Masjid, constructed at the disputed site in the 16th century by Shia Muslim Mir Baqi, was demolished.

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