New Delhi : There is no particular religious significance or importance attributable to the Babri Masjid structure in Ayodhya, while ‘janmasthan’ (birthplace) of Lord Ram is a particular place of religious significance for the Hindus, so it can’t be shifted, the deity’s counsel told the Supreme Court on Thursday.
Senior Advocate K Parasaran, appearing for deity Ram Lalla Virajman, told an apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that the birthplace cannot be shifted to another site, while a mosque with no particular religious significance to the Muslim public can be shifted as that will “not affect the right to practice religion by offering ‘namaz’ in other mosques”.
“Admittedly, there are a number of other mosques at Ayodhya,” he argued, adding that the disputed 2.77 acres site at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh is a place of particular religious significance for the Hindus and “can’t be shifted”.
He said that to go on a pilgrimage is a practice of religious faith for the Muslims as well as the Hindus, but for the Muslims, “Mecca and Medina alone are places of particular significance” as pilgrimage centres, but for them such was not the case with Ayodhya/Babri Masjid, reports IANS.
Addressing the bench, also comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, Parasaran argued that the prayer for reconsideration of the 1994 five-Judge Constitution Bench judgment in the Ismail Faruqui case, in which it was held that a mosque was not an integral part of religious practice of offering prayers, was not maintainable in this case.
“On merits, the judgment does not call for reconsideration and is rightly decided. And to reconsider the judgment in Ismail Faruqui’s case will be an exercise in futility as the judgment therein is binding on the present appellants,” he said while opposing the plea of Muslim representatives in the Ayodhya case that the 1994 judgment be reconsidered by a larger bench of either five or seven Judges.
Addressing the bench on the flaws of the 1994 judgment, Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for lead petitioner M. Siddiqui represented by his legal heir, had earlier said that this verdict completely denuded the concept of religious practices under Article 25 of the Constitution.
In an earlier hearing, Dhavan had said that a larger bench of either five or seven Judges has to revisit the issue and decide “what is the meaning of mosque to the Muslims” and is it taken as a “gospel truth that a mosque is not essential to Muslims and Islam”.
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