Judgement unfortunate, clergy decides essential features of religion: Owaisi

Hyderabad: All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi on Thursday expressed his disillusionment with the Supreme Court’s decision on the 1994 Ismail Faruqui verdict and called it “unfortunate” and that “it was upon clergy to decide the essential feature of a religion.’ The court today declined to refer the 1994 Ismail Faruqui verdict to a larger constitutional bench.

Speaking on the top court’s decision, Owaisi said, “This was an issue of national importance and I respectfully say that it would have been better if it was referred to a constitutional bench. The mosque is an essential feature of our religion and there are mentions of the same in the Quran. I am of the opinion that the judiciary cannot decide what essential feature of a religion is, and it is for the religious clergy to decide. Unfortunately, the judiciary has decided this and I have respectfully submitted my opinion. What surprises me most is the fact that when it came to Triple Talaq, Quranic verses were mentioned but they were not invoked in this case.”

He wanted to know that “If mosque is not the essential feature of Islam, are religious places essential feature for other religions?”

He, however, expressed relief over the court’s observation that today’s decision won’t have an impact on Ramjanambhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit case. He said, “The court has rightfully stated that today’s decision will not have any impact on the ongoing Babri case because it is a title suit.”

Reacting to a question on statements being made by some leaders across the political spectrum, Owaisi said, “It is completely wrong to speculate on the time or nature of the title suit verdict. People speaking on it are hurting rule of law and making fun of our Constitution. They are casting aspersions on the independence of the judiciary. This issue does not have any connection with the 2019 elections.”

Former Union Minister Uma Bharti, however, hailed the court’s decision saying, “This isn’t a matter of religious dispute, as Ayodhya is an important religious place for Hindus because it is the Ram Janambhoomi but for Muslims, it isn’t a religious place, for them it is Mecca. This matter was created and it finally got transformed into a land dispute.”

The Supreme Court will begin hearing on the title suit case from October 29 to decide the suit on merit.