While the daily hearing on the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land title dispute in Ayodhya is over, controversy refuses to shy away from the affair. On Monday, when the Muslim side submitted its an affidavit on the moulding of relief to the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi pointed out that this was already on the front pages of English newspapers. Indeed, Sirf News archives on the Ayodhya case show the information of the content of the moulding-of-relief affidavit has been in the public domain since 19 October.
In fact, when the affidavit was filed on behalf of the Muslim side on the moulding of relief, the Chief Justice asked the advocate if he had been given “a copy” of what was already on the front pages of English newspapers.
The Muslim petitioners said they had given a copy to all the petitioners. They said that, earlier, they had given it in a sealed envelope, but later all the petitioners were given a copy each.
Just a query from the CJI and no further action against the petitioners is yet another instance after Rajeev Dhavan’s act of tearing a map submitted by one of the Hindu parties where the Supreme Court was seen treating the Muslim side with kid-gloves.
Content of moulding of relief affidavit of Muslim parties
The shared moulding-of-relief affidavit from the Muslim side had raised the issue of ‘national interest’. It said whatever the decision of the court is, it would affect the future of the country and the thinking of the coming generations. The decision will also affect crores of citizens who believe in the constitutional values and the republic.
Muslim parties in their affidavit in the court have expressed hope that, through the moulding of relief, the court will take care also of the historical, social and cultural heritage of this great country so that our centuries-old glorious common heritage and pluralistic harmonious culture remains intact.
What is moulding of relief?
The Ayodhya dispute is one of the rarest cases in the judicial history of India. The real trial in the dispute took place in the high court and the Supreme Court is hearing the first appeal. “Moulding of relief” is an alternative that a petitioner asks for from the court that could be granted to the party if the verdict does not meet the original demand. In a way, it’s a consolation prize.
This case, which has been going on for years, was heard daily in the Supreme Court from 6 August, during which the court heard the case five days a week. After a long hearing that lasted 40 days, the court has reserved its verdict, which is expected before CJI Gogoi retires, failing which a constitutional bench has to be constituted afresh to hear the case all over again.