NEW DELHI: The SC on Thursday warded off requests from 32 eminent persons to intervene in the 70-year-old Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case, which rests in the final tier of adjudication.
Senior advocate C U Singh, appearing for the eminent persons including Shyam Benegal, Aparna Sen, Anil Dharker and Teesta Setalvad, renewed his request before a three-judge bench headed by the CJI for permission to intervene in the case. However, the bench wondered what role non-parties or intervenors had in a land dispute which was between the parties to the original title suit before the Allahabad HC.
Singh said, “These eminent persons are seriously concerned about the fallout of the case and the impact the judgment will have on society and the country. They want to assist the court in reaching a just verdict.”
A similar request was made by senior advocate Salman Khurshid on December 5 for intervention on behalf of a Muslim association from UP. The SC had said, “These are appeals against the high court judgment on title suits and all parties are present before us. Where is the question of intervention or impleadment by non-parties?”
Not to be deterred by the SC’s stand, Singh said he would try his luck by mentioning the plea of eminent persons seeking intervention at an appropriate stage of hearing.
The applicants have refuted the HC’s finding that there existed a belief among a majority of the Hindu community that the disputed property was the birthplace of Lord Rama. They said, “There is no basis on which such a finding could be sustained. In light of the various other places within Ayodhya laying claim of being the birthplace of Lord Rama, it is categorically stated that majority of Hindus do not espouse to the belief that the disputed property is the birthplace of Lord Rama.”
Referring to several historical works, they said, “It is clear that the belief that the disputed property is the birthplace of Lord Rama only germinates in the early 18th century and no historical record or literary record prior to late-16th century exists to justify the claim of the Hindu parties that the disputed premise was considered as the birthplace of Lord Rama since time immemorial.”