An Astonishing Judgment: Rajeev Dhavan

An Astonishing Judgment: Rajeev Dhavan
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553
Comments made by the senior advocate and constitutional expert on the Ayodhya verdict

The judgment does not fail to astonish. It is, in many senses, quite an astonishing judgment. As far as the title suit is concerned, one question that the people of India will ask is that in 1992, was there a Masjid that was destroyed there, or not. If the answer to that question, which we all saw with our own eyes, is that a masjid was destroyed, then the legal question as to whom the site belonged to should have been fairly and squarely answered.

Because it is clear from the rulings in the 1940s that it was the Sunni Waqf Board which is the owner, and the question of dismissing the suit that had been instituted by the Sunni Waqf Board is, to say the least, a little strange.

If we are sitting with some kind of Panchayati justice and trying to find a compromise solution then certainly there is no difficulty. But the problem over the past few years, the past decade, possibly a century, has been that the communities have not come to a conclusion that the property can be divided in any particular way.

Therefore we will get back to the status quo ante  where the Court is saying you divide the property and we are asking you to divide the property within three months. It can't be an injunction that comes, in fact, from the court itself.

The court has gone into a question which it is ill-equipped to answer. It is a question of theology and a question of history.

***

If this panchayati solution is to be endured, the degree of Muslim entitlement should have been left intact so that the site belonged to them.

The destruction of the masjid was akin to the demolition of the Buddha statues at Bamiyan in Afghanistan, and people would say that India’s secular justice was majoritarian in nature without lending dignity to India’s minority.”
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