//The Consequences of Ayodhya Judgment of Supreme Court – SAHRDC Seminar

The Consequences of Ayodhya Judgment of Supreme Court – SAHRDC Seminar

The Consequences of Ayodhya Judgment of Supreme Court – SAHRDC Seminar

New Delhi
02 December 2019

Ayodhya conclusions not matched by reasons: Justice Ganguly
Not criticising judges but unable to reconcile and shocked beyond measure, says ex-judge

Justice AK Ganguly

Justice A.K. Ganguly, a former Supreme Court judge, on Monday said he was shocked “beyond measure” by the Ayodhya verdict as “the conclusions of the judgment are not matched by its reasons”.

Speaking at a discussion on “The Consequences of Ayodhya Judgment of Supreme Court” at the India International Centre , Justice Ganguly said: “I’ve never heard in my humble career as a judge for 18 years that there can be an addendum to a judgment. After reading the judgment, my first reaction in one sentence is ‘the conclusions of the judgment are not matched by its reasons, rather they are mutually destructive’.”

The former judge said he was not criticising the judges but he cannot reconcile.

Justice Ganguly said: “In 1934, there were communal disturbances. Damages were made to the mosque, it was restored by the British government, and Hindus were fined. I find that our colonial masters, they protected the rights of minorities better than this constitutionally formed government under the Constitution where secularism is a basic feature.”

He pointed out that “Hindu idols were surreptitiously placed in the mosque”, just a month after the Constitution was adopted.

Justice Ganguly quoted the judgment which says: “The allotment of land to the Muslims is necessary because though on a balance of probabilities, the evidence in respect of the possessory claim of the Hindus to the composite whole of the disputed property stands on a better footing than the evidence adduced by the Muslims, the Muslims were dispossessed upon the desecration of the mosque on 22/23 December 1949, which was ultimately destroyed on 6 December 1992. There was no abandonment of the mosque by the Muslims.”

Justice Ganguly then asked, “How does it become a better footing, on what better footing? Hindus have always encroached upon it illegally. Does demolition of the mosque constitute a better possessory title of the Hindus?”

Pointing out that in 2017, the Supreme Court had ordered a fast-track trial against former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh and other BJP leaders for criminal conspiracy to demolish the mosque, Ganguly said: “The court was so shocked by the enormity of the crime that it gives an extraordinary direction. And that is considered act of possession? And now the central government is directed to frame a scheme on the same plot of land where stood a mosque, on the demolition of which the Supreme Court directed a trial with such seriousness.”

He added: “I am not criticising the judges. They are learned people. I am just trying to find answers on the basis of what is said by the Supreme Court. Article 26 (freedom of religion) was not even referred to by the SC. I cannot, with great respect to the learned judges, I cannot reconcile.”

Former Delhi University political science professor Neera Chandhoke asked: “If the fear of the National Register of Citizens (being extended across the country) was not there, would everyone be silent?”

The third panellist, senior Supreme Court advocate Sanjay Hegde, quoted Chief Justice of India Arvind Bobde from a recent interview in which he said that the bench had decided to be unanimous on the Ayodhya verdict.

Hegde said: “The difference between achieving, working, pleating together unanimity and conforming to unanimity and that is that fine balance which the Indian Supreme Court in this judgment seems to have lost. It achieved unanimity by first agreeing that ‘look we have to get this out of the way, we have to give a judgment which is implementable. Jugaad jurisprudence is sometimes used when arguments are made which are not necessarily focused in law or flowing out of it.”

He added: “All that was being asked is that ‘not only we (Muslims) have a right to that land, we also have a right to this Land (India). We are here in shared citizenship with everybody else. We can kindly adjust, but it has to come from us.’ Today all that is being told is that there is a responsibility to keep quiet. It doesn’t affect only the Muslims but all of us who believe in our holy book, the Constitution.”


Ayodhya case: Arguments favoured Muslims, yet verdict went to Hindus, says Justice AK Ganguly
Advocate Sanjay Hegde and political expert Neera Chandhoke also participated in the discussion, held at the India International Centre

NEW DELHI: While the arguments in the Ayodhya dispute case were in favour of the Muslim community, the order was to allow the building of the temple for Hindus, argued Justice AK Ganguly during a discussion on the case organised here on Monday.

Advocate Sanjay Hegde and political expert Neera Chandhoke also participated in the discussion, held at the India International Centre.

Reading parts of the judgment, Ganguly said that it was absurd on part of the SC to say that “a mosque is not an essential tenet of Islam and Namaz can be offered in the open”. “The belief and faith of a worshipper cannot be challenged. The Supreme Court hasn’t accepted the minority view,” in announcing its verdict on Ayodhya, he said.

He noted the judgment that said that the Babri Masjid was not built after demolishing a temple. “The structure to which Hindus claimed their rights, has always been a mosque. Muslims never abandoned the mosque. Hindus have always encroached upon it illegally,” he read. “The judgment is loaded (with arguments) in the favour of Muslims,” he stressed.

Neera further argued that the government was under the impression that all questions have been answered and that the issues have been resolved, but that was not the case. “We don’t just sign a social contract with the government but also with our fellows. when the Hindu community began to say that this is the place where Lord Ram was born, I don’t understand it. As far as I know, Benaras and Mathura come before Ayodhya.”

There has been “rush” on part of the government to set up a committee that will oversee the making of the temple, she said. She further questioned if Babar demolished a temple to build a mosque, “Are we going to do the same thing? It is time that we live with fellow citizens. We must learn to stop this jostling of for space of the place of worship. There could have been a space where everybody could have worshipped.”

Advocate Hegde took the discussion further to say that India needed a court that would do judgements without favour or biases and labelled the SC order as a “Thanedar verdict”. “A Thanedar is only interested in keeping his jurisdiction silent,” he said.


The Consequences of Ayodhya Judgment of Supreme Court – SAHRDC Seminar Invitation