SC asks if birthplace of diety can be a juristic person

The Supreme Court on Thursday quizzed 'Ram Lalla Virajman', one of the parties in the Ayodhya dispute, if the birthplace of the deity can also be regarded as a "juristic person" having stakes in the case, though the deity is treated as a juristic person which can possess properties and institute a litigation.

A five-judge Constitution bench presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked senior advocate K Parasaran, appearing for 'Ram Lalla Virajman' which itself is a party, how 'Janamsthanam' can file the case in the land dispute as a party.

"Whether the birthplace can be held to be a juristic or juridical person. So far as idols of deities are concerned, they had been held to be a juristic person," said the bench.

Parasaran responded, "In Hindu religion, idols are not necessary for a place to be regarded as a holy place of worship. Rivers and Sun are also worshipped in Hinduism and birthplace in itself can be treated as a juristic person."

The lawsuit filed by the deity in the Ayodhya case has also made the birthplace of Lord Ram a co-petitioner and has sought claim over the entire 2.77 acre of disputed land at Ayodhya, where the structure was razed on December 6, 1992.

The bench cited the Uttarakhand High Court's judgement, which treated the holy river Ganga as living and as well as a juristic entity entitled to pursue the litigation.

Emphasising the importance of birthplace, Parasaran recited a Sanskrit Shloka and said that a birthplace is greater than heaven. He also referred to the law on Limitation and said that a "continuing injury" has been caused to the Hindu worshippers by the "continuing wrong" caused by the judicial order by which the property was attached by the magistrate and a receiver was appointed.

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