In a sharp twist in the Ayodhya verdict, the Hindu Mahasabha has filed a review petition against the verdict insofar it awards 5 acres of alternate land to the Muslim side in Ayodhya for a Mosque. This is the first review petition from the Hindu side in this verdict, and the Hindu Mahasabha has argued therein since the apex court decided in its ruling that both the inner and outer courtyard of the disputed site in the historic city of Ayodhya belongs to the Hindus, there is no ground to allocate 5 acres of alternate land to the Muslim side.
Hindu Mahasabha lawyer Vishnu Shankar Jain said, “We will file review petition today challenging SC decision of granting 5 acres of land to the Muslim side in another site at Ayodhya or anywhere the Board finds it suitable, in the Ayodhya Babri Masjid land dispute case.”
It is important to mention here that though the Supreme Court had decided that the disputed site belongs to Hindus, it had also awarded 5 acres of land to the Muslim parties by exercising its powers to do complete justice between the parties. The main dispute was over the disputed site which was considered pious by both the Hindus and the Muslims, and both of them claimed rightful title to the disputed site. However, based on the evidence before it and the application of settled legal principles, the top Court decided the dispute in favour of the Hindu side.
Any alternate land was not even prayed for by any of the two sides and was not even a matter of contention in the 134-year-old legal dispute, therefore the relief was based on the principles of equity and justice.
Besides the fact that the Muslim parties never claimed that they were entitled to any alternate land, several individuals have also opposed the idea of building a Mosque on the five-acre land. Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar, for example, have argued that hospitals and schools should be built on that land. Moreover, AIMIM supremo Owaisi has gone to the extent of calling the Supreme Court’s decision to award five acres of land to the Muslim side as ‘khairaat (charity)’, and exhorting Muslims to reject Supreme Court’s ‘patronising’ offer of five-acre land.
The Hindu Mahasabha is well within its right to move a Review Petition to challenge the allocation of five acres of alternate land to the Muslim side. It remains to be seen how the issue will shape up from here.