At a meeting here, AIMPLB also decided not to accept the 5-acre ‘alternative’ land for construction of a mosque. The board said it was seeking a review since the Muslim side had approached the SC for ownership of Babri Masjid land and not for an alternative site.
However, the main party from the Muslim side, UP Sunni Central Waqf Board, which had said on the day of the verdict that it would not file a review petition, reiterated on Sunday that there was no change in its position. Board chairman Zufar Faruqi, who skipped the AIMPLB meeting despite being invited, told TOI, “We stick to our old stand about accepting the SC verdict. Filing a review petition would mean doing a volte-face. If any other litigant wants to appeal, they can. About allotment of five-acre land, we will decide at the board’s meeting on November 26.” Iqbal Ansari, son of the oldest litigant from the Muslim side, has also opposed a review plea.
After a day-long meeting, AIMPLB (which is not a party to the case) claimed that it had received affirmation from three Muslim litigants, Mohammad Umar, Maulana Mahfuzur Rahman and Misbahuddin, to move the review plea with its legal backing within 30 days of the SC verdict. Umar, son of one of the first Muslim litigants in the Ayodhya title suit, told TOI, “I am ready to file a petition seeking review of SC’s verdict on Ayodhya.”
Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind (JuH) also announced that it would independently file a review petition after it termed the verdict “not based on evidence or logic”. JuH, which was a party in the title suit, had opposed the 5-acre offer on Thursday. AIMPLB claimed the verdict was replete with contradictions, “beyond comprehension at certain” junctions and “prima facie unfair”.
The meeting was presided over by AIMPLB chief Maulana Rabey Hasani Nadwi and attended by 45 of its 51 working committee members, including JuH representatives Arshad Madani and Mehmood Madani, Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi and AIMPLB general secretary Maulana Wali Rahmani.
“The Ayodhya suit was a representative suit from all Muslims and AIMPLB was chosen as the umbrella Muslim body to take care of legalese. The board will file a review and declines the offer of 5 acres to be allotted by the government,” Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC) convener and AIMPLB secretary Zafaryab Jilani told reporters. “It’s not contempt of court if Muslims do not want land from the government,” he said.
“Waqf Act 1995 and Islamic Shariah have no provision for exchange or transfer of mosque land. And we believe the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board will respect the view of Muslims in declining the 5-acre land within the Act’s ambit,” Jilani said.
On Sunday, the meeting venue was changed from Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama to Mumtaz PG College at the eleventh hour after AIMPLB officials claimed that they were asked by the district administration not to hold the meet at Nadwa.
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