Historical wrongs can’t be corrected judicially: Jamiat

In the wake of the Gyanvapi mosque controversy, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has moved the Supreme Court seeking to become a party in the PIL challenging the constitutional validity of certain provisions of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, which froze the religious character of structures as it were at time of Independence in 1947.

Seeking to be impleaded as a respondent in the PIL filed by Ashwini Upadhyay, challenging the provisions of  the 1991 Act purportedly to open the gates for restoration of temples which during the Islamic rule were purportedly converted to mosques, Jamiat through advocate Ejaz Maqbool said judicial proceedings could not be resorted to set right historical wrongs.

Jamiat quoted the Ayodhya judgment, in which the SC on November 9, 2019 had said, “law cannot be used as a device to reach back in time and provide a legal remedy to every person who disagrees with the course which history has taken” and that the courts of today cannot take cognizance of historical rights and wrongs unless it is shown that their legal consequences are enforceable in the present.

It said the SC had categorically held that the apex court cannot entertain claims from actions of the Mughal rulers against Hindu Places of Worship in a court of law today. The SC in Ayodhya judgment had said, “Our history is replete with actions that have been judged to be morally incorrect and even today are liable to trigger vociferous ideological debate. “However, the adoption of the Constitution marks a watershed moment where We, the People of India, departed from the determination of rights and liabilities on the basis of our ideology, our religion, the colour of our skin, or the century when our ancestors arrived at these lands, and submitted to the rule of law.

“Under our rule of law, this Court can adjudicate upon private property claims that were expressly or impliedly recognised by the British Sovereign and subsequently not interfered with upon Indian Independence. ”

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