125-year-long battle proves costly for Akhara

125-year-long battle proves costly for Akhara

The Akhara, which has a long history, had to literally pay through its nose to fight the legal battle in a Faizabad court  as well as in the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court.

“The Akhara had to sell its land in Ayodhya and a jeep to arrange money to pay the fee and bear other expenditure to fight the legal battle,” said Mahant Bhasker Das, a prominent saint with the Akhara. “So far the Akhara has spent close to Rs 50 lakh on the legal battle,” he said. The long legal fight literally drained the meagre resources of the Akhara, whose building in the temple town of Ayodhya lies in a dilapidated state and  requires immediate repairs.

“The expenditure were less when the matter was being heard in Faizabad but it increased manifold after it reached the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court,” he said.

The mahant said its representatives and counsel used to go all the way from Ayodhya to Lucknow to attend the hearing, which were held on a daily basis since this year.

A look at the Nirmohi Akhara’s building in Ayodhya would clearly reveal that it had to undergo a lot of hardships in waging the battle for the disputed site.

Incidently, the first suit in the matter dates back to 1885 when one Mahant Raghubar Das of the Nirmohi Akhara had sought to build Ram temple on the land adjoining the disputed structure and claimed ownership of the land on the ground that the mosque had been built after demolishing the temple in 1528.

The suit was dismissed on the ground that the alleged demolition of the temple had occurred over 350 years ago and hence the remedy sought was too late.

Then in 1959, the then mahant of the Akhara Raghunath Das claimed ownership of the land and had filed a civil suit in a court in Faizabad. The case continued in Faizabad till 1989 after which it was transferred to the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court.
“The fight is still not over... in the event of an adverse verdict, the Akhara will certainly approach the Supreme Court.... the Muslim side will also do the same if the decision goes against it,” the mahant pointed out.

Call for time-bound ‘amicable’ settlement
Lucknow, dhns: Nirmohi Akhara, one of the main plaintiffs in the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri masjid title suits, would seek a “time-bound amicable” settlement of the vexed issue. The Akhara would file an affidavit to this effect in the Supreme Court on Tuesday, when the apex court takes up the petition seeking deferment of the Babri verdict and resolving the matter out of court. “The process of mediation should be given a chance but it must be time bound... the matter should not linger indefinitely... it should be decided within three months,” Akhara counsel Ranjit Lal Verma said.

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