On the 30th day of hearing in Ram Janmabhumi-Babri Masjid title dispute case in the Supreme Court, the Muslim parties accepted that ‘Ram Chabutra’ was the birthplace of Lord Ram. After senior advocate, Rajeev Dhavan concluded his argument, Zafaryab Jilani, senior advocate appearing for the Sunni Waqf Board, began his submissions on the place of birth of Lord Ram based on gazetteers and Valmiki Ramayana.
During his submission, Jilani said that there is no dispute to the fact that Lord Ram was born in Ayodhya, instead, our dispute is whether the birthplace is inside the mosque or not. To this, the Supreme Court judge asked that you accept that Ram Chabutra (which came into existence after 1855) is the birthplace?
“We accept it because three other courts said it,” Jilani replied.
My argument will be that there is no mention of Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Valmiki Ramayana or Ramcharith Manas, Jilani added. The Supreme Court bench - comprising of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer – quizzed whether nonmention in texts will be proof of the nonexistence of temple.
There is no evidence of the place below central dome being a site of worship before 1949, submitted Jilani.
Only because Valmiki Ramayan and Ramcharith Manas does not mention the precise site in Ayodhya where Ram was born, can't Hindus believe that Ram was born at a particular place in Ayodhya, asked Justice Chandrachud.
Justice Bobde then said there are three alternatives which Court is considering - 1. Babur built the mosque after destroying the temple, 2. Babur built the temple at the site where a temple stood earlier, 3. Babur built the mosque at a vacant site.
To this, Jilani said that their argument is that Babur built the mosque at a vacant site. “Any temple which might have existed there had long disappeared. The land was vacant when the mosque was built,” he added.
The day-to-day hearings in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case began in the Supreme Court on August 7 with the Nirmohi Akhara, a Hindu religious denomination, claiming Muslims had not prayed at the disputed site in Ayodhya since 1934. A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, and comprising justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer, started hearing the matter. The Allahabad High Court, in its judgment of 2010 on four civil lawsuits, had partitioned the 2.77-acre disputed land equally among Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. Fourteen appeals have been filed in the Supreme Court against the verdict.
The top court has set October 18 as deadline for completion of all arguments in the protracted land title dispute, a move that has raised the possibility of a verdict in the politically sensitive case in the middle of November.