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Court refuses to take stones on record
By Khadijatul Kubra, Lucknow

Bhagwan Sri Ram Virajman at Sri Rama Janam Bhumi, Ayodhya’, a plaintiff in the Babri Masjid title suits suffered a set back when a special three-judge bench of the Allahabad high court refused to bring into the record the stone or estampages which were allegedly ‘discovered’ in the wake of the destruction of the ancient mosque.

Dealing with the issue in ‘Bhagwan Sri Rama Virajman versus Sri Rajendra Singh and others’ case, the special bench in their six-page order observed that ‘...we permit the plaintiffs to tender these stones and estampages in evidence subject to proof as per provisions of the Evidence Act.’

‘As regards to the second prayer regarding issuance of commission to Sri M. N. Katti, it may be observed that since it is the obligation of the plaintiffs to prove the stones and estampages, they shall themselves take steps for obtaining the experts' report and prove it before the court by examining such witness’, the division bench comprising Justice DK Trivedi, Justice Syed Rafat Alam and Justice Bhanwar Singh observed in their order recently. ‘The issue No.14 in the title suits is to determine ‘whether the disputed structure claimed to be Babri Masjid was erected after demolishing Janma-Sthan temple at its site? So apparently the dispute is as to whether there was a temple before the construction of Babri Masjid on the disputed land or not. Although in the plaint it is said that the temple was constructed by Vikramaditya, but since this plea was disputed by the other party, issue No.14 was framed’, the order said, adding that ‘in any case, the point in dispute revolves around the centre as to whether there was a temple on the disputed land which was demolished and Babri Masjid was thereafter constructed on the walls and the malba of the alleged temple... It is also not in dispute that the disputed structure was demolished during the pendency of the suit. The stones and other materials found out from the debris were preserved by the officers in the nearby buildings and it is the case of the plaintiffs that those articles were parts of the demolished structure, whereas the case of the opposite side is that materials were planted subsequently by the interested persons with the collusion of the government officials of the BJP regime,’ the court noted and decided that ‘this controversy can be decided by the court only after recording the evidence of both the parties, at the time of the final hearing.

Admission of the estampages or stones as the evidence of the suit was also objected on the ground that ‘at any rate, these estampages cannot be taken on record because admittedly these estampages are the only secondary evidence while the primary evidence is available.’
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