|ALL INDIA MUSLIM
AIMMM Expresses Concern at Excavation Order;
Seeks Commission of Archaeologists to Supervise Excavation and Evaluate Findings
New Delhi, 7 March, 2003: Shri Syed Shahabuddin, President of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM), has issued the following Statement:
"The All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM) expresses its deep concern at the Order of the Special Bench of the Allahabad High Court for the excavation of the disputed site in Ayodhya as unprecedented and as uncalled for at a time when the title suit was on the fast track.
The AIMMM fails to comprehend why instead of dealing with the evidence submitted by those who claim that the Babari Masjid was built on the site of a standing Ram Mandir in 1528 after demolishing it, the High Court goes beyond its normal role to provide evidence for them on an issue, which has no legal consequence in law.
The AIMMM recalls that the Supreme Court had returned the Reference on the same issue to the Narasimha Rao Government and had not taken recourse to the excavation of the site, terming the issue itself as 'superfluous and unnecessary'.
The AIMMM considers that the Order is fraught with far-reaching consequences because it sets a very questionable and dangerous precedent. Today the Vishwa Hindu Parishad is claiming 30,000 mosques. The Sangh Parivar will use this Order as a precedent to demand excavation of all those Masjids. Therefore, the Court should have prudently limited the scope of its order by explaining why excavation had become absolutely essential in the absence of alternative evidence, scriptural, literally or otherwise, and, therefore had to be ordered in this case, and that it shall not be used as a precedent.
The AIMMM notes that the ASI is not a statutory body but a department of the Government under its direct control. Considering that the present Government has completely identified itself with the position of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the report of the ASI will carry little credibility unless the excavation was carried out in accordance with internationally recognized methodology and the excavation work was supervised and its results evaluated by a Commission of nationally eminent archaeologists, from outside the ASI.
The AIMMM also notes the High Court's explanation that why its Order does not violate the status quo inherent in the Acquisition Act of 1993 and explicit in the Supreme Court Judgement of October, 1994. It would, however, have been judicious for the Bench to refer the matter to the Supreme Court before passing an order for an unprecedented and massive excavation, as it prima facie does violate the status quo.
The AIMMM apprehends that instead of shorting the proceeding, this Order is likely to stretch it as well as complicate the issue. In any case, one month's time given by the Court is too short for any scientific excavation and meaningful evaluation.
The AIMMM respectfully requests the High Court to recall its Order and at least to amend it by appointing a Commission of Archeologists of national eminence to supervise the excavation and to evaluate its findings and by including the unlawfully established make-shift temple which occupies nearly
2/3 of the Babari Masjid site in the excavation.
The AIMMM also demands that the High Court to order the plaintiffs concerned to file affidavits to undertake withdrawing their claim on the Babari Masjid site, if the foundations of a Mandir are not found immediately underneath."
Sd/- Syed Shahabuddin
ALL INDIA MUSLIM
N-44, Abul Fazal Enclave, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi - 110 025 Phone: 2632
6780 Fax: 2632 7346 Email: