By Amiya Kumar Kushwaha
New Delhi, Nov 9 (IANS) The judiciary must preserve the sense of balance that the beliefs of one citizen do not interfere with freedoms and beliefs of another, the Supreme Court said while ruling in favour of the construction of the Ram temple on the disputed site in Ayodhya.
The top court, in its ruling, also said that the law must stand apart from political contestations over history, ideology and religion.
A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi stated this while concluding its judgement in the one of the longest-running land dispute cases in the country.
The Constitution bench made it clear that the court does not decide the title on the basis of faith or belief but on the basis of evidence.
“The law provides us with parameters as clear but as profound as ownership and possession. In deciding title to the disputed property, the court applies settled principles of evidence to adjudicate upon which party has established a claim to the immovable property,” the bench said in its unanimous judgement.
The bench has taken into consideration every fact, evidence and oral argument during the case and said that these submissions have traversed the realms of history, archaeology, religion and the law.
“For a case replete with references to archaeological foundations, we must remember that it is the law which provides the edifice upon which our multicultural society rests. The law forms the ground upon which, multiple strands of history, ideology and religion can compete,” the court said while concluding his judgement in the case.
“By determining their limits, this court as the final arbiter must preserve the sense of balance that the beliefs of one citizen do not interfere with or dominate the freedoms and beliefs of another,” the top court said.
“On August 15, 1947, India as a nation realised the vision of self-determination. On January 26, 1950 we gave ourselves the Constitution of India, as an unwavering commitment to the values which define our society. At the heart of the Constitution is a commitment to equality upheld and enforced by the rule of law.”
The top court citing the Constitution said that the citizens of all faiths, beliefs and creeds seeking divine provenance are both equal before the law and every judge of this court is not merely tasked with but sworn to uphold the Constitution and its values.
The court also made it clear that the Constitution does not make a distinction between the faith and belief of one religion and another.
“All forms of belief, worship and prayer are equal,” the bench said.
“Those whose duty it is to interpret the Constitution, enforce it and engage with it can ignore this only to the peril of our society and nation. The Constitution speaks to the judges who interpret it, to those who govern who must enforce it, but above all, to the citizens who engage with it as an inseparable feature of their lives,” the top court said.
(Amiya Kumar Kushwaha can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)