SC seeks proof structure raised on remains of Temple

Ayodhya case hearing

Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court on Friday sought proof that the Babri Masjid was built on remains of Ram temple, even as one of the Hindu sides contended there were pillars with inscriptions of deities to show that a mosque was raised at the place where once existed the temple.

A five-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked senior advocate C S Vaidyanathan to show the structure was raised on ruins of a temple or dedicated to Ram Temple.

The bench said, "Over the past two millennia, we have seen civilisations settled and resettled on river banks. They have been built upon pre-existing structures."

Resuming arguments, Ram Lalla counsel Vaidyanathan pointed out no mosque would contain pillars with images of deities, which was contrary to tenets of Islam. “There was never a mosque there. It might have been used as a mosque but it was not in accordance with the Shariat law,” he said. Even a street can be used to offer prayers but does not mean that the street will become or can be treated as a mosque. This structure was never in the true sense considered a mosque, he said.

Relying upon the photographs of the pillars, Vaidyanathan said there was a preponderance of probability suggesting that there was a temple dedicated to Lord Rama on the land where the Mosque was built. He said there was a suggestion that a Buddhist monument may have existed at the site but this was categorically rejected.

He maintained that the mosque was not built on vacant land or agricultural land but on a land where a structure existed dating back to 2 nd Century BC. He said there were photographs showing adequate evidence of 'puja' within the mosque.

During the hearing, the bench, also comprising Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer asked him, if carbon dating was done of the excavated materials.

On this, senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who represented the Muslims side, pointed out carbon dating can be done only of organic material, not of idols.

Vaidyanathan also referred to the Archaeological Survey of India report which stated that the remains excavated were from a large structure with a lot of pillars and columns which dated back to the 2nd century BC and this structure was open to public.

The arguments would continue on Monday.

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