Moulding of relief submission in Ayodhya case: Nirmohi Akhara demands upholding of its rights as ‘Shebait’

It also reportedly asked for directions to Muslim parties to lease out the site to Hindus in case joint ownership is adjudicated to ensure ‘lasting peace’

Hard-liners demand temple construction in India's Ayodhya
Hard-liners demand temple construction in India's Ayodhya

Ashlin Mathew

All the parties in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit submitted their notes, but only the Sunni Waqf Board and Nirmohi Akhara submitted the moulding of relief in a sealed cover. The Supreme Court had asked them to submit it three days after the hearing got over on Wednesday, October 16.

According to sources, Nirmohi Akhara has given six possible scenarios and what they would like the Supreme Court to order in either of the cases in their submission.

The first three submissions are in case either of the Hindu parties win. In the first scenario, if Nirmohi Akhara, which filed suit no 3, or if Ram Lalla Virajman, which filed suit number 5, wins the case, then they have stated that only the Akhara can conduct prayers as they are the ‘Shebait’ in the case. Shebait is the person who serves the deity and that includes maintenance of the deity and management of all properties.

They have said that both the idol and Ram Lalla in his child form are representative of one person, so there cannot be a bifurcation of the two and in fact, there is no difference between the two.

Nirmohi Akahara also dismisses the claims of Suit number 5, which was filed in the name of Ram Lalla Virajman, but has the support of the Hindutva organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). They have submitted that the plaintiffs in this case was only acting as a disinterested friend and a worshipper cannot be given rights to property. The Akhara has said that they are the only representative of Ram and not any other party.

In the submission, Nirmohi Akhara has stated that since this is a title suit, the Supreme Court cannot remove Nirmohi Akhara from its management position and neither can the court frame a trust to manage the property.

If in case, the Supreme Court decides to use its powers under Article 142, which the SC the power to frame laws, then the SC must realise that the basic character of a temple cannot be changed and under laws only the ‘Shebait’, which is Nirmohi Akhara, can manage the temple. In case a Trust is formed, Nirmohi Akhara has stated that they need to have a majority voice and along with them in the committee, it could include the District Collector or Superintendent of Police.

Nirmohi Akhara has stated that in case the Supreme Court decides to declare the property to be a mosque, then the SC should issue a notification giving authority to the Sunni Waqf Board or the competent authority under UP Muslim Waqf Act.

In case all the cases are dismissed by the Supreme Court, the Nirmohi Akhara wants the district magistrate to revive and open the pending criminal proceedings under Section 145 of the CrPC. It was under this that the land was originally taken over by the Court in January 5, 1950.

In the final scenario, the Nirmohi Akhara states that if the Supreme Court upholds the joint ownership taking into consideration the sentiments of both the communities, then Nirmohi Akahara would want the disputed property (inner and outer Courtyard) to be placed under their possession so as to be able to construct a temple.

In such a scenario, they would want the title of the Waqf Board in the disputed property to be recognised by both Hindus and Muslims. Additionally, they would want the SC to direct Waqf Board to grant a long-term lease of the property in their share to the Nirmohi Akhara for constructing a temple. They would want equivalent sufficient land to be allotted to the UP Sunni Waqf Board instead of this.

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