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Posted at: Nov 17, 2019, 12:20 PM; last updated: Nov 17, 2019, 6:40 PM (IST)

Ayodhya verdict: Muslim bodies to file review petition

Ayodhya verdict: Muslim bodies to file review petition
AIMPLB secretary Zafaryab Jilani and member SQR Iliyas address a press conference, in Lucknow. PTI

Tribune News Service
Lucknow, November 17

Describing the five-judge Supreme Court Ayodhya verdict as “self contradictory”, an emergency meeting of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Sunday unanimously resolved to file a review petition and not accept the five acres of land at an alternative site for a ‘masjid’ as directed by the judgment.

Senior AIMPLB member and convener of the All India Babri Masjid Action Committee (AIBMAC) Zafaryab Jilani pointed out that the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board chairperson Zufar Faruqi has already made it clear that they will give prominence to the decision taken at the AIMPLB meeting as it represents all sections of Muslims.

Responding to a question about the AIMPLB politicising the issue, Jilani said all the Board was doing was exercising its constitutional right.

Answering another question about the likelihood of the same result given to the review petition which is to be heard by the same judges, Jilani pointed out the review petition judgement in the Sabrimala case delivered two days ago which has now been referred to a larger Bench.

Jilani said three plaintiffs — Maulana Mehfuzul Rehman, Mohammad Usman and Misahbuddin — had already agreed to file the review petition and others may join.

He also clarified that senior lawyer Rajiv Dhawan would continue to represent them and every effort would be made to file the review petition within the stipulated 30 days.

Refusing to divulge the proceedings of the stormy meeting, Jilani said of the 51 members around 45 attended the meeting and the resolution to go ahead with the review petition was passed unanimously.

AIMPLB spokespersons Qasim Rasool Illyas said the Supreme Court verdict was full of contradictions.

He listed at least ten such inconsistencies including, the apex court accepting that Muslims prayed at the Babri Masjid from 1857 to 1949, the last namaaz was performed on December 16, 1949, idols were illegally placed on the intervening night of December 22-23 1949, it has not been proved that Ram Lalla was born under the central dome of the masjid, the idols placed illegally cannot be treated as deities, December 6 demolition was against the secular character of the constitution and the ASI evidence has not proved that the masjid was constructed after the demolition of any religious structure.

“After stating all this, Supreme Court decides to hand over the land to Ram Lalla which is completely beyond reason,” said the spokesperson.

Dwelling upon the decision to refuse the five acre land for the masjid, Jilani said under the Waqf Act it is clear that the land of a masjid can neither be exchanged nor transferred so how can it be given to anyone.

Reiterating that the long legal battle was for the title suit, Jilani pointed out that it was clearly not for building another masjid anywhere else.

“In Ayodhya, there are already 27 functional masjids and the intention of the legal battle was not to add one more,” he quipped.

Responding to a question about plaintiff Iqbal Ansari being against the review petition, Jilani said who knows he may be under pressure to say this.

Substantiating his point he said that last night some senior district officials visited the campus of Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama where today’s meeting was earlier scheduled saying that the meeting cannot take place there.

Describing the pressure put on the Nadwa administration as highly condemnable; Jilani said that it was due to this that the venue was changed at the last minute to Mumtaz Degree College.

The meeting was presided over by AIMPLB president Maulana Rabe Hasani Nadwi.

Among the members who attended were AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, president Jamait Ulema-e-Hind Maulana Arshad Madni, Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahali, vice president Maulana Jalaluddin Umri, Dr Asma Zahra of the women’s wing and AIMPLB secretary Maulana Wali Rehmani among others.  

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