Ayodhya Case in Supreme Court: Ram's birthplace also juristic entity, says lawyer for deity; judge says need to be 'cautious with that argument'

During the hearing of the Ayodhya dispute, K Parasaran contended that there can be any number of juristic persons in one institution.

FP Staff October 01, 2019 18:13:17 IST
Ayodhya Case in Supreme Court: Ram's birthplace also juristic entity, says lawyer for deity; judge says need to be 'cautious with that argument'
  • The Supreme Court continued hearing the Ayodhya dispute on Tuesday.

  • Proceedings in the case were marked by the lawyer for the deity 'Ram Lalla Virajman' arguing that the birthplace of Lord Ram can be construed as a legal person.

  • K Parasaran cited two Supreme Court judgments to argue that land has been elevated to the status of a juristic entity in cases of charitable endowments.

The Supreme Court continued hearing arguments in the Ayodhya land dispute case on Tuesday, and proceedings were marked by the lawyer for the deity 'Ram Lalla Virajman' arguing that the birthplace of Lord Ram can be construed as a legal person. According to Bar and Bench, the lawyer for the deity K Parasaran argued, "One deity can manifest itself in several forms in the same temple...There are many judges and benches but judgment is attributed to Supreme Court."

Parasaran cited two Supreme Court judgments — Kamaraju Venkata Krishna Rao vs Sub Collector, Ongole and Thayarammal v Kanakamma — to argue that land has been elevated to the status of a juristic entity in cases of charitable endowments.

"A consecrated idol is not the only form in which the deity is believed to manifest itself. The deity may be believed to manifest itself in any form – physical or perceived. Such form need not necessarily only be a movable object," Parasaran said.

However, Justice SA Bobde noted, "You are saying that divine character should be ascribed to a 'bhoomi' because of the belief that an avatar was born there. (We) should be cautious with that argument."

India Legal also quoted Justice DY Chandrachud as saying in response to the arguments, "If you have a place of public worship, the worshippers may worship different manifestations but ultimately, there is one Supreme Being which, in this case, is Lord Ram. So can all the manifestations be considered as juristic persons?"

To this, Parasaran contended that there can be any number of juristic persons in one institution. He pointed out that there can be idols of different deities in one temple.

During Parasaran's arguments, Rajeev Dhavan, the counsel for the Muslim parties, raised an objection, saying that he was putting forward entirely new arguments, although he had sought time to reply to earlier arguments.

The arguments made by the lawyer for 'Ram Lalla Virajman' on Tuesday were in extension to his contentions in the apex court on Monday. During the hearing on Monday, he told the five-judge Constitution Bench hearing the case, ""If the land believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ram is treated reverentially by Hindu people and they have sought to offer worship there as a consequence of such belief (not merely because they have faith in Lord Ram as a deity), the land itself may be treated as a juristic entity alongside the idol that may be believed to manifest Lord Ram as a deity."

Counsel for 'Ram Lalla' had refused to participate in mediation

On Monday, another counsel for the deity, CS Vaidyanathan, told the Supreme Court that he did not want to participate in the mediation proceedings to amicably resolve the Ram-Janmabhoomi Babri Masjid land dispute case.

The bench had said it has received a letter from former apex court judge FMI Kalifulla, who was heading the three-member mediation panel, saying that some parties have written to him for resuming the mediation process. The court had said that the parties may do so and proceedings before the mediation panel can remain confidential.

Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment in the case, which had directed 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 by some Hindu groups claiming it was the birthplace of Lord Ram.

With inputs from PTI

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