The Ain-e-Akbari, a detailed account of the life and times of Mughal Emperor Akbar, does not have any mention of the mosque built by Babar that lies at the heart of the Ram Janambhoomi dispute, the Supreme Court on Tuesday pointed out. Why was this so, the court asked the Muslim petitioners in the case on the Day 30th day of the daily hearing of the case.
"Ain-i-Akbari mentions minute details, but does not mention about the mosque at Ayodhya. Why is there not mention? The mosque was not there?" Justice SA Bobde asked Zafaryab Jilani, who was representing the Muslim petitioners.
The 16th century book was the work of Akbar's court historian Abul Fazal and is part of his Akbarnamah - the definitive biography of the Mughal Emperor.
Mr Jilani said the case of the Hindu respondents was that the mosque was built after demolishing the temple. Suggesting that the Hindus could have been wrong about it, Justice Bobde said, "There are three grounds... Babur demolished temple and built mosque; or Babur built the mosque where a temple existed; or Babur built the mosque on vacant land".
Mr Jilani claimed the mosque was built on vacant land.
The court also discussed what could have been the exact birthplace of the Lord Ram.
Justice DY Chandrachud, who was part of the five judge constitution bench hearing the case, said as per some verses in the Skanda Puran, the exact spot was around 200 steps near "Sitakoop" (meaning Sita's well) and witnesses had also identified that.
Mr Jilani said the Hindu respondents have based their case on faith. But two books - the original Valmiki Ramayan and Ramcharit Manas by Tulsidas do not say Lord Ram was born under the dome of the mosque in Ayodhya. There is also no mention of any worship at any particular place under the dome, he said.
Also, there is no mention of a Ramjanam Bhoomi temple in Ramcharit Manas, which was written was written nearly 50 years after the temple was built. The book was written around 1574, while the mosque dated back to 1528.
"If we accept your view based on these two books, it would mean that the Hindus can't believe that Ram was born anywhere in Ayodhya at all," Justice Chandrachud said.
Mr Jilani said the Lord Ram was born in Ayodhya, but there is no word anywhere about a particular place. We have no dispute that Lord Ram was born in Ayodhya, but the dispute is on the site. Since Hindus make offerings at Ram Chabutra, a spot near the disputed site -- that may be the birth place," he added.
The arguments - which the court plans to wrap up by October 18 -- will resume tomorrow.