Abdul Bari Masoud | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI — The CPI-(M), the largest constituent of the Communist bloc, on Monday said “justice” was not done in the Babri Masjid title suit verdict delivered by the Supreme Court a week ago.. It also raised serious questions on the premises of judgment but did not support, or oppose, the filing of review petition in the case saying petitioners are exercising their legal and democratic rights.
Speaking to Caravan Daily, CPI-(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said that the Supreme Court did not do the justice to the Babri Masjid. Raising serious questions on the judgment, Yechury emphatically said that the title cannot be established on the basis of “faith and belief”.
“The five-member Constitution bench headed by the Chief Justice Gogoi states repeatedly the commitment to uphold constitutional values and that “the adjudication of civil claims over property must remain within the secular framework”, “The title cannot be established on the basis of faith and belief……” Despite such declarations, the end result is that the verdict has given precedence to faith and beliefs of one side (meaning, the Hindus),” Yechury said.
Instead of dealing with the petitioners in this case, the verdict deviated from its core, widened the ambit and made direct references to Hindus and Muslims, he said.
Yechury averred that the CPI-(M) has always maintained that the resolution of the Ayodhya dispute must be through a negotiated settlement, failing which, the only way is to resolve the matter through a court verdict and this is the only way in which a secular republic governed by the rule of law can deal with such a dispute.
The CPI(M) politburo met in New Delhi on November 16 and 17 and discussed the Babri verdict among other matters.
The Polit Bureau noted: “The verdict states unambiguously that the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December 1992 was a “serious violation of law”. But finally, Cort handed over the site to the very forces responsible for this criminal assault. The writ filed in 1989 was represented by a leader of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, an organisation that led the agitation that resulted in the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992.”
“The verdict states that the desecration of the mosque in December 1949 by the illegal placing of idols inside the mosque was also a grave violation of law. Yet, the entire disputed site has been handed over to the violators of law.”
The verdict clearly states that the Archaeological Survey of India findings do not provide any evidence for the destruction of a temple to build the mosque as claimed by the Hindutva forces, noted the party’s Polit Bureau .
Sitaram Yechury said that the judgment went on to say that no evidence was offered to indicate that the exclusive possession of the entire structure of the Babri Masjid belonged to the Muslims between 1528 and 1857.
He said: “The submission that there was no dispute prior to 1857 does not prove that Muslims were not in exclusive possession of the area or that the mosque was not used for prayers. On the contrary, the Hindu side’s claim of continuous possession has been upheld, but not on the basis of facts. It appears, rather, that a display of faith and belief has taken the upper hand.”
When asked whether this verdict has dented the image of Supreme Court as “secular and impartial” institution, Yechury quipped, “A verdict is a verdict and the Supreme Court is the Supreme. There are some matters in the verdict which are not understandable, and we therefore said justice has not been delivered.”
About his reported comment relating to Article 142, he explained: “I said Article 142 should have been invoked by the Supreme Court to ensure the 1991 religious worship act was implemented, but this was not done in the verdict. The verdict has reiterated that the Places of Worship Act, 1991 was a law which enforced Constitutional obligations to uphold the equality of all religions and secularism, but the court failed to bar the future raising of such disputes in other locations like Kashi and Mathura,” he said.
Yechury pointed out that the RSS chief has in a veiled warning declared that the disputes of Kashi and Mathura are not on the agenda “for now”. This is an ominous declaration indicating that passions can be aroused on these issues at any time in the future.
Will the CPI(M) welcome the move to file review petitions in the Babri Masjid case? “If someone opposes the move, they must understand that this is simply an instance of people exercising their legal and democratic rights,” he said.
Yechury noted that the top court has made it clear that the December 1949 and December 1992 incidents were serious violations of law. “But, justice has not been delivered on the perpetrators of such criminal acts. The cases against those including LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Kalyan Singh etc in relation to the demolition of the Babri Masjid are languishing for nearly 28 years now,” Yechury pointed out.
The CPI(M) leader said these cases must be expedited and the guilty punished without any more delay. “This verdict of the Supreme Court should not impinge on the delivery of justice,” he said.