Due to the non availability of Justice SA Bobde, the constitution bench did not sit on Monday and the Ayodhya land dispute hearing resumed today. Senior advocate CS Vaidyanathan, for Ram Lalla Virajman, continued his arguments on the basis of archaeological evidence.
He submitted a document which showed the existence of a stone slab from the 12th century, containing inscriptions in Sanskrit. These inscriptions had verses that spoke of King Govind Chandra, whose kingdom's capital was Ayodhya. It was added that the verses made it clear that there existed a big Vishnu temple there, and the remains of that Vishnu temple is what the ASI survey had found through excavation. Vaidyanathan went on to submit that the authenticity of the slab and inscriptions therewith were undisputed, but whether the same had been recovered from the place of dispute had been challenged.
He went on to place reliance on a photograph of the place from where the slab fell and on an account of a journalist in Panchajanya magazine . The journalist claimed to have seen the slab falling from the western wall of the southern dome structure and his cross examination was consistent with the same. Vaidyanathan went on to state that there was no proof to discount this account and that it was conclusive that the slab was fitted in the structure. In light of this, the counsel submitted that the existence of the slab supported the conclusion drawn by the ASI report that a huge temple was indeed at the disputed site and there was nothing to warrant disputing the credibility of the report.
The senior advocate went on to present the accounts of a number of witnesses to persuade the court that the site is considered to be Lord Ram's birth place (Janmabhoomi) and that the faith and belief of Hindus have made them visit the "Ram Janmabhoomi" for darshan. The deposition of a 90 year old man from 1999 was heavily relied upon to show the significance of the site to Hindus, based on their faith and belief. "His evidence has not been shaken even in cross examination...It is proof of the faith and belief of Hindus in going to Ayodhya to visit Ram Janmabhoomi", said Vaidyanathan.
Witnesses included Hindus as well as Muslims. A number of the Hindu witnesses explained how they embarked on their pilgrimage, their faith that the disputed site was indeed the birthplace of Lord Ram and the description of the temples there. The accounts of Muslim witnesses were cited to show that they were aware of the significance of the disputed site for Hindus. One Mohd. Hashim had stated that the manner in which Mecca was holy for them, Ayodhya was sacred for Hindus. Another Muslim witness' account was cited where it was stated that if it could be proved that there was a Hindu temple at the site which was demolished and a mosque was then built on it, Muslims would not consider it a mosque at all. On being questioned by the bench about whether any witness had seen namaz being performed there, Vaidyanathan cited the cross examination of one one of the witnesses who mentioned that he had never seen that happening.
Vaidyanathan concluded citing oral accounts of witnesses by submitting that despite a disputed structure coming up at a place believed by Hindus to be the Janmabhoomi of Lord Ram, devotees continued to worship there and go on parikramas. Before the bench rose, he informed them that tomorrow he would move on to his oral submissions and cite case laws to support his arguments.