Former Chief Justice of India A. M. Ahmadi on Saturday expressed the opinion that the Supreme Court could have acted to prevent the December 6, 1992, demolition of the Babri Masjid.
Mr. Ahmadi said this at a seminar on “Ayodhya Judgment: Civil Society Response” organised by the Institute of Objective Studies here. He pointed out that the then Attorney-General Milon Banerjee had repeatedly urged the two-judge Bench of Justice M.N. Venkatachaliah and Justice G.N. Ray to consider appointing the Central Government as the receiver of the land where kar seva was to be performed to foreclose the possibility of demolition. Mr. Banerjee told the Court he had definite information that the mosque was about to be demolished. “Instead, the Court passed an order allowing a symbolic kar seva. Had that order not been passed, the mosque would have been standing today,” said Justice Ahmadi. He also faulted the Court for handing out a “one-day simple imprisonment” to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh.
Justice Ahmadi was part of the five-judge Bench of the Supreme Court that heard the one-line Presidential reference on Ayodhya. The question was whether a Hindu temple or any other structure pre-existed at the site where the mosque stood. Recalling the reference, Justice Ahmadi said: “We we