Arguments Summary Day 9: May 17, 2018

Mr. K. Parasharan appearing for the deity ‘Ram Lalla Virajman’ (Ram Idol) opened arguments before the 3 judge bench. The crux of his argument was that Ismail Faruqui has been correctly decided and the principles of res judicata bar the court from reviewing Ismail Faruqui case.  Mr. Parasaran made the procedural argument of res judicata against referring the Faruqui Judgment to a higher bench. He argued that the issue stood settled by applying the principle of Res-Judicata (Section 11, explanation 6 CPC), which bars the court from hearing the same dispute between same parties. Faruqui case has settled that Mosque is not essential to Islam and no subsequent appeals can be allowed.

Next, he argued that Faruqui Case was right in applying ‘Essential Practices Test’ to rule that Mosque, as a place of worship is not integral and essential to Islam. The case had correctly held that no place of worship is so essential that it cannot be acquired by the State and observations in Faruqui apply to religious structures of all religions and not specifically to Mosques.  “There can be no reason to hold that a mosque has a unique or special status higher than that of other places of worship or other religions in secular India”, he argued.

He said that all religious institutions like church, mosque and temple can be acquired by the State on the principle of eminent domain. He continued that offering of prayer is an essential practice and the place of worship would not be essential or integral part of religion unless the place has a “particular significance for that religion”. He said that Ayodhya is of “particular significance” to Hindus as a place of pilgrimage just as  Mecca and Medina are for Muslim pilgrims. Mr. Parasran was hinting at greater comparative significance of Ayodhya vis-a-vis Babri Mosque. The matter will be heard next on 6th July.