The advocate representing the deity Ram Lalla in the Ayodhya case continued to argue in the Supreme Court on Friday that the disputed site had a temple and not a mosque in the past. CS Vaidyanathan said that ownership cannot be claimed on a place just because one offers prayers there, Live Law reported.
This was the seventh day of the hearing, which started on August 6 after a mediation effort by a court-appointed panel failed to achieve a result last month. The bench comprises Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer.
On Friday, Vaidyanathan told the court that photographs of the site depicted sculptures and structures, which shows a temple existed there because mosques do not have images of deities and it is against Islamic belief, Bar and Bench reported. He also showed the court such old photographs.
“Even a street can be used to offer prayers but it does not mean that street will become or can be treated as a mosque,” said Vaidyanathan, according to Bar and Bench. “This structure was never in the true sense considered a mosque.”
Vaidyanathan claimed that there never was a mosque at the site. “It might have been used as a mosque, but it wasn’t a mosque in accordance with Sharia law,” he said, according to Live Law.
In the hearing on Wednesday, Vaidyanathan had cited a book about the demolition of a temple and construction of a mosque by either Mughal emperor Babur or Aurangzeb. He had also referred to several books written by European travellers that describe the city of Ayodhya and the various temples of Ram located there.
Vaidyanathan said it was the belief of Hindus that Ram was born in Ayodhya and so the court must not go beyond to see the rationality. When Justice Bobde asked him about the lack of a reference to a Ram temple in the Mughal emperor Babur’s memoirs, Vaidyanathan insisted that Babur had asked his military commander to build a mosque at the site. Vaidyanathan also said there was no evidence the mosque was called Babri Masjid before the 19th century.