The Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind has filed a plea in the Supreme Court asking it to review its verdict on Ayodhya. This is the first review petition since the top court ruled last month that the disputed land belongs entirely to the deity Ram Lalla (the infant Lord Ram). Jamiat chief Maulana Arshad Madani has claimed a majority of the country's Muslim population is against the landmark verdict. "The court has given us this right and the review must be filed," he told news agency PTI.
"The main contention in the case was that the mosque was built by destroying a temple. The court said there was no evidence the mosque was built after destroying a temple (and so) the title of Muslims therefore was proven, but the final verdict was the opposite. So we are filing a review as the verdict is beyond understanding," he added.
The review petition highlights the fact that although the court had noted "irregularities" such as the destruction of the Babri Masjid in December 1992, it had failed to act against such acts.
"... this Hon'ble Court has acknowledged few of the several illegalities committed by the Hindu Parties,
particularly in 1934 (damaging the domes of the Babri Masjid), 1949 (desecrating the Babri Masjid) and 1992 (demolition of the Babri Masjid)...however, this Hon'ble Court has proceeded to condone those very illegal acts and has awarded the disputed site to the very party which based its claims on nothing but a series of illegal acts," the petition reads.
On Sunday the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) made a similar remark. Although the AIMPLB was not one of the litigants in the case, its General Secretary said "99 per cent of Muslims are in favour of a review petition".
"...trust has weakened after the SC verdict on Ayodhya. Ninety-nine per cent of Muslims of the country are in favour of a review petition," Maulana Wali Rahmani told PTI.
Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has criticised both the AIMPLB and the Jamiat for seeking a review of the Ayodhya verdict. He has claimed they are trying to create an "atmosphere of division and confrontation".
On November 9 the Supreme Court verdict paved the way for a temple at the site that had been claimed by both Hindus and Muslims for decades. The court said the entire disputed site - 2.77 acres - must be handed over to Ram Lalla, one of three litigants.
The court based its verdict on a report filed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) that said an older structure existed below the disputed building. However, the report did not say if it (the disputed building) had been constructed after demolishing the older structure. Referring to the report the court said the underlying structure was not Islamic.
The Supreme Court also said that Muslims had been wrongly deprived of a mosque which had been constructed well over 450 years ago.
A five-judge constitution bench, headed by then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, then ruled that a "prominent site" in the holy town in Uttar Pradesh will be allotted for a new mosque.