NEW DELHI: On the third day of hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case, the Supreme Court asked one of the parties, Ram Lalla Virajman, as to how the ‘Janmasthan’ (birthplace of the deity) had a stake as a litigant in the case.
A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said idols of Hindu deities have been legally held to be ‘juristic person’ who can hold properties and institute, defend and intervene in lawsuits, but asked senior advocate K Parasaran, who appeared for Ram Lalla Virajman, “whether the birthplace can be held to be a juristic or juridical person” and file the case as a party.
Parasaran told the bench, “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 Ram Lalla Virajman has also made the birthplace of Lord Ram a co-petitioner and has sought claim over the entire 2.77 acres of disputed land at Ayodhya.
The bench then referred to a judgment of the Uttarakhand High Court in which the river Ganga was held to be a juristic entity entitled to pursue the litigation and asked Parasaran to proceed with his submissions on
Parasaran alleged that the deity was not made a party when the magistrate had attached the disputed site and when the civil court granted injunction by appointing receiver in the case.
Highlighting the importance of the Janmasthan, Parasaran recited a Sanskrit shloka, “Janani janmabhoomishcha swargaadapi gariyasi” and said a birthplace is greater than heaven.
Breaking with the tradition, the Supreme Court will hear the case on Friday, the day which, along with Monday, has been kept aside for hearing only fresh cases.