Arguments Summary Day 8: May 15, 2018
Mr. Rajeev Dhavan appearing for the Sunni Wakf Board began by urging the court that a sensitive case like this calls for exercising “restraint” from both sides. He alleged that despite Muslims showing restraint, the other side is inciting public sentiment. He added that both sides should avoid “pre-judgment” when the matter is still in preliminary stage. Substantively, today's arguments mirrored previous day's argument where the petitioners (Sunni Wakf Board) tried to convince the court for forming a constitutional bench.
Mr. Dhavan argued that para 82 of Ismail Faruqui case, which held that Mosque is not essential to Islam as namaz can be offered anywhere, should be overruled. He then alluded to the statement by Haryana CM Manohar Khattar that Muslims should offer namaz in Mosque and not in open spaces. He said that opposite claims are made by the politicians in reference to ‘essentiality’ of Mosque in Islam.
He continued that the effect of Ismail Faruqui judgment was that while Hindus continued to offer prayers at the site, Muslims were prevented from doing the same. He argued that places of religious significance (like Babri) cannot be touched by the State. So the acquisition of the Babri land in 1994 which was upheld in Faruqui Case needs to be re-examined. He added that the court was wrong in going into essentiality of Mosque in Islam while hearing a land acquisition suit. The Respondents argued that there is no need to relook the Ismail Faruqui Case as under Section 11 CPC (Civil Procedure Code), the court is barred from hearing the same dispute between same parties. The court listed the matter for 17th May.