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Muslim panel to appeal verdict
Published on 17 Oct. 2010 12:03 AM IST
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The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) Saturday said it had decided to appeal in the Supreme Court against the Ayodhya verdict given by the Allahabad High Court last month, but clarified it was not opposed to an out-of-court compromise - though with certain conditions.
“We have no objection to considering any offer of compromise, provided it fulfils our three pre-conditions. As such, the formula must conform to the tenets of the ‘Shariat’ (Islamic law) and the letter and spirit of the Indian Constitution. Besides, it must also uphold the dignity of Muslims,” AIMPLB assistant general secretary and spokesman M.A. Rahim Quraishi said.
Quraishi was briefing media persons at the conclusion of a day-long meeting of AIMPLB’s 51-member executive at the Darul Uloom-Nadwatul-Ulema, the renowned Islamic seminary, popularly known as Nadwa, here.
Presided over by AIMPLB president Maulana Syed Rabe Hasan Nadwi, who is also the rector of Nadwa, the meeting held that the Sep 30 verdict by a three-judge special bench of the high court was “full of infirmities”. The special bench had ordered division of the disputed 90 by 120 ft plot of land in Ayodhya into three parts - one going to the Sunni Central Waqf Board representing Muslims and two to separate Hindu parties.
AIMPLB’s legal cell convener Y.H. Muchhala, who was also present at the press conference, denied that the board had any plans of coming up with its own compromise formula.
“As far as we are concerned, we have taken a decision to make an appeal to the Supreme Court of India. So where is the question of our preparation of any formula? But we are open to considering such a move by the other party,” he said.
Denying that any compromise formula was ever mooted by former AIMPLB president and renowned scholar, the late Ali Mian, Muchhala also sought to dismiss the peace initiatives taken by 90-year-old Hashim Ansari of Ayodhya, who had fought a legal battle for the Babri Masjid since 1961, to pave way for an amicable settlement without another protracted court battle.
“We also consider it to be the right and obligation of the Indian Muslims to challenge the judgment in the apex court, in order to remove the distortions introduced by the judgment in the basic values of the Indian Constitution and the established norms of jurisprudence,” he said.
Quraishi contended that the court had “totally sacrificed on the principles of secularism, enshrined in the Constitution, which clearly says that the faith of one community cannot be given precedence over that of another community.”
Replying to a question, Quraishi said the board was not against co-existence of a mosque and temple. “There are many places across the country where mosques and temples have been existing side by side for centuries. Some such places have come up even in the recent years, but in case of Ayodhya, there was no evidence of the existence of a temple, which the court had tried to establish solely on the basis of belief of a particular set of people.”
At this juncture, Muchhala said: “Please note that we hold Lord Ram in very high esteem, even though we may not worship him, but whether he was born at a particular spot or not must be decided as per the law of the land and not on the basis of pre-determined notions.”
He parried queries relating to voices in favour of an out-of-court settlement at the meet. “We cannot disclose what all transpired at our meeting, but let me reiterate that it was a unanimous decision of the entire working committee to file an appeal before the Supreme Court,” he emphasised.
Earlier, the Sunni Central Wakf Board had resolved to appeal against the order of the high court. However, since the AIMPLB is the highest decision-making body regarding religious rights of Muslims in the country, the final decision on the issue was left to it.

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