NEW DELHI: Though the Hindu side claimed to have won, it declared its intention to go in appeal to the Supreme Court, arguing that since Ram Janmasthan had been accepted, the entire disputed site at Ayodhya should be handed over for the construction of a temple.
The Muslim side, whose title suits were set aside, is appealing the verdict even as its leading light, Zafaryab Jilani, said he accepted the ruling of the court while exercising the right to seek a revision. He said the Muslim side would abide by what the Supreme Court rules.
Despite suggestions that the Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court had opened the doors to a compromise by proposing a three-way division of the disputed land, both parties are keen to secure their legal rights. Only after doing so will either give any thought to other options. The litigants have contested the case for too long to settle for a negotiated resolution before knocking the doors of the SC. Now, leaders on both sides are saying that it will be for the SC to take a speedy view of the verdict announced by the HC. The Muslim argument is that Islamic law does not permit “surrendering” a mosque.
With some estimates suggesting that SC could deal with the case within 15-16 months if it wants to, the Hindu side represented by the petitioners representing Ram Lalla and Hindu Mahasabha are sure to look for a confirmation of the HC verdict even as they articulate a maximalist point of view. There is a sense that more than half the battle has been won.
The Sunni Waqf Boards of UP have taken the view that the ulema have ruled that an SC verdict will be viewed as final in the matter even as its leaders skirt the issue of whether this means abandoning the argument that a mosque cannot be given up. The Muslim side continues to challenge the conclusion of the HC that the Babri masjid came up after the destruction of a temple.