Representational image of Ayodhya | Reuters

Maulana Syed Ashhad Rashidi, the legal heir of one of the Muslim litigants in the Ayodhya dispute, on Monday filed a review plea before the Supreme Court over its November 9 judgment allowing construction of a Hindu temple at the disputed site.

Rashidi is the legal heir of M.Siddiq, who was the former head of the Jamiat-ul Ulema-i Hind, Uttar Pradesh. Siddiq was the original petitioner in the title suit in the Ayodhya case. Rashidi is president of Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind, Uttar Pradesh.

Rashidi argued that the Ayodhya judgment suffers from “errors apparent on record and warrants a review under Article 137 of the Constitution of India”.

The review petition said the Supreme Court in an attempt to balance the reliefs between the parties, condoned illegalities of the Hindu parties and allotted alternate land admeasuring 5 acres to the Muslim parties, which was neither pleaded nor prayed for by the Muslim parties.

Rashidi is president of Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind. Rashidi added he was not challenging the entire judgment.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind chief Maulana Arshad Madani had claimed that a majority of Muslims want the review petition to be filed and the number of those in the community who are against it were very few.

“The court has given us this right and the review must be filed,” Madani told PTI.

“The main contention in the case was that the mosque was built by destructing a temple. The court said that there was no evidence that the mosque was built after destructing a temple, the title of Muslims therefore was proven, but the final verdict was the opposite. So we are filing a review as the verdict is beyond understanding,” he said.

On November 14, the working committee of the Jamiat had formed a five-member panel comprising legal experts and religious scholars to look into every aspect of the Supreme Court’s November 9 verdict.

The panel, under the chairmanship of Jamiat chief Maulana Arshad Madani, had looked into the prospects of the review petition against the Supreme Court verdict and recommended that the plea should be filed in the case.

The Supreme Court in its verdict had said the entire 2.77 acres of disputed land should be handed over to the deity Ram Lalla, who was one of the three litigants. The five-judge Constitution bench also directed the Centre to allot a five-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board in Ayodhya to build a mosque.

Apart from the Jamiat, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has also said a review petition will be filed before December 9. However, the Sunni Central Waqf Board has decided against filing a review plea. The Waqf board also said that it was yet to take a call on whether to accept a five-acre plot for a mosque.

Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Sunday hit out at the AIMPLB and the Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind for their decision to seek a review of the Ayodhya verdict, saying they are trying to create an “atmosphere of division and confrontation” after the matter was laid to rest by the Supreme Court.


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