The Supreme Court on Thursday said a Hindu body’s demand to examine if 16th-century Mughal emperor Babur dedicated the Babri Masjid to Allah according to Islamic tenets was “a little problematic”, PTI reported.
PN Mishra, the counsel for the Akhil Bharatiya Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Purandar Samiti, told the court that in an earlier judgement, the Allahabad High Court had made a mistake by refusing to examine whether Babur constructed the mosque following Sharia law.
He made the argument on the 15th day of hearing of the Ayodhya land dispute in front of a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court. The bench began to hear the case on a daily basis after an attempt at mediation organised by the court failed.
“In Islam, even an absolute sovereign like Babur could not do everything,” Advocate PN Mishra, appearing for the Hindu organisation, told the court. “He still had to abide by the religion.”
Clarifying the High Court judgement, the Constitution bench said: “What High Court suggested here [is] that Babur had the absolute power and he had done something...that cannot be reviewed. They said that now we cannot get into the question as to what Babur did was against sharia.”
However, the lawyer persisted with his argument that the High Court should have passed an order on the matter. He said there was no forum to decide such problems and that courts could not simply decide to ignore these matters. Mishra said a majority verdict of the High Court had said that the Muslim community failed to prove that the Babri Masjid was a mosque built by Babur in 1528.
The court asked Mishra whether the existence of a mosque at the site could be negated and whether the structure existing there was a mosque, the Hindustan Times reported. Mishra replied that the Quran did not permit building a mosque on disputed land or on a piece of land where another structure existed. He also argued that it had not been proved whether Babur or Aurangzeb constructed the disputed structure.
“The mosque stands or stood,” Justice SA Bobde replied. “There was a structure in the shape of a mosque. There is no dispute about that. Whether it was dedicated for the purpose of mosque is argued. However, that does not take away existence of a mosque.”
Mishra then listed out the characteristics of a mosque to show that the Babri Masjid did not fit the criteria. “My lords if someone creates a jyotirlinga, we are not going to accept it; similarly, if mosque is not in accordance with Islam, Muslims will not accept it,” Mishra said. “It would not be a mosque, it would be Babur’s mansion but not mosque.”
Now, follow and debate the day’s most significant stories on Scroll Exchange.