First review petition in Supreme Court against Ayodhya verdict filed

Maulana Syed Ashhad Rashidi, who is the legal heir of original Ayodhya land dispute litigant M Siddiq on Monday filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking review of its November 9 judgment that gave the land to Hindus while alloting an alternate 5-acre plot for construction of a Mosque.

The petition states that the top court "granted mandamus for destruction of Babri Masjid to construct a temple of Lord Ram at the disputed site."

Earlier, Maulana Arshad Madani, president of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, had told news agency ANI that the "apex court's verdict is beyond the understanding of many people", adding that  "the purpose of filing the review petition is not because it is a matter of respect, but a religious issue."

He had also claimed that the mosque wasn't constructed over a temple. "The mosque was not built on a temple. Our religion is our duty and we will make all efforts to save it. We will respect the decision which the court will give," he said," he had said.

Last month, the working committee of the Jamiat had formed a five-member panel comprising of legal experts and religious scholars to examine every aspect of the SC verdict.

On November 26, around 100 eminent Muslim personalities, including Shabana Azmi and Naseeruddin Shah, opposed the move to challenge the top court's verdict. The signatories said that challenging the judgment and hence keeping the matter alive will not help the community, even though they agreed that the court order is 'judicially flawed'.

"We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned over the decision of several of the Muslim litigants in the Ayodhya dispute to challenge the recent unanimous decision of a constitution bench of the Supreme Court in favour of a Ram Temple at the disputed plot," the official statement read. It has been signed by several eminent Muslim personalities, many of who are known Islamic scholars, lawyers, journalists, artists, cultural icons and activists.

The Chairman of the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board Zufar Faruqi had said that he is not in favour of filing a review petition in the case. However, the All India Babri Masjid Action Committee (AIBMAC) convener Zafaryab Jilani, had expressed his dissatisfaction with the verdict and said he would study the judgment and then file a review petition.

In a 5-0 unanimous decision, the Supreme Court on Saturday ruled that the disputed 2.77 acre land in Ayodhya will go to Hindus while Muslims will be given a 5-acre plot at an alternate location in the city for construction of the mosque.