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'Muslims see hope in the Supreme Court'

October 02, 2010 11:15 IST
Vicky Nanjappa reports on the All India Muslim Law Personal Board's next move after the verdict in the Ayodhya title case suit.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board's legal committee will meet on Saturday next, October 9, and discuss the verdict in the Ayodhya title case suit, which was pronounced on September 30 by the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court.

Dr S Q R Ilyas, convener of the Babri Masjid Action Committee, told Rediff.com that this would be followed by a meeting of the Board's executive committee which would take the final decision.

Professor Mohammad Sulaiman, a senior member of the Board, and Dr Ilyas said the decision to move the Supreme Court on the Allahabad high court judgment is final, but the two meetings would discuss the manner in which the Special Leave Petition is to be carried forward.

Although the Board has not met formally as yet, it has been already decided that "we will not even consider the decision to share the land," Dr Ilyas said.

"There is no way in which any Muslim in the country will be willing to compromise the inner portion of the mosque in accordance with Shariah law," he added.

"Shariah law," he explained, "is very clear that there are two portions to a mosque -- the inner and outer portion. The law makes it clear that no Muslim should compromise the inner portion of a mosque."

"The high court verdict in fact directs us to compromise on the inner portion of the mosque and this is not acceptable to Muslims," Dr Ilyas said.

"We have always maintained this position and even when we met several prime ministers in the past," he added, "we have maintained this position of ours."

"The other party has always been insisting on the inner portion of the mosque," he cotninued. "As per Shariah law it is not possible to agree to such a demand and hence we will move the Supreme Court explaining our position."

"Shariah law has been accepted by both the Privy Council and also various courts in India," he said, "however we are aware that the Supreme Court can overturn it and we will abide by whatever it says."

"The (All India Muslim Personal Law ) Board's legal committee at present is studying the options and the same would be placed before the executive committee on October 16. We are very sure that we want to move the highest court of the land since the high court has played hide and seek with the title suit," Dr Ilyas said.

"Whatever the Supreme Court says will be the final decision and we are ready to abide by it," he added.

"We, however, hope that there will be some clarity to the issue pertaining to the title suit since we are unable to understand what the high court meant when it passed this order," he said.

"As of now, we feel that the high court order is not a workable one," he felt.

"We never demanded land around the mosque. All we have been saying is that we want the inner portion of the mosque," he added. "There appears to be no clear-cut decision on the title suit and we still believe we have a case since all the high court did was reject our demand on the basis of 'barred by limitation'."

"We still believe that the case is open. If you look at the Supreme Court guidelines of 1993, it is clearly stated that the main issue can be decided only after a final decision is made to the title suit which in this case still remains hanging," the lawyer pointed out.

"Post the Ayodhya verdict we have been speaking to a cross section of Muslims across the country and the general feeling is that of shock," Dr Ilyas said.

"None of them are able to understand the logic of the verdict. There is large scale disappointment among members of the community, but they do see hope in the Supreme Court," he added.

" However there is no plan of taking the matter to the streets or issuing a fatwa against anyone responsible for this verdict," Dr Ilyas emphasised.

"There is one thing that is decided -- and that there shall at no stage be any compromise as suggested by the special bench of the high court."

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Vicky Nanjappa