Supreme Court of India

On the 6th day of hearing of the politically sensitive Ayodhya land dispute case, senior counsel CS Vaidyanathan  appearing for Ram Lalla Virajaman, the deity, made references to historical evidences including travelogues of European travelers which described the city of Ayodhya.

Advocate CS Vaidyanathan told the Court he would refer to historical facts and would then come to archaeological evidence to corroborate presence of a temple in the disputed site.

CS Vaidyanathan referred to travelogues of foreigners such as Joseph Tiefenthaler, Mongomery Martin among others to note that Hindus used to worship the disputed place as birthplace of Lord Ram much before the mosque was erected.

He also referred to the writings of William Pinch and Joseph Barrell to corroborate his claims to prove the existence of a temple at Ayodhya before a mosque was built.

The Senior counsel also referred to Skanda Purana which mentions about the belief that pilgrims should have a darshan of the Ramjanmabhoomi after taking bath in the Sarayu River. To which the Justice Chandrachud retorted saying ‘so it talks about Janmabhoomi and not the deity’. Vaidyanathan responded saying ‘the Janmasthan is the deity itself.’

CS Vaidyanathan also drew reference to a Gazetteer of Territory under east India Company in 1854.

When CJI questioned the authenticity of the documents, the Counsel of the deity said that the referred documents were either part of court records or mentioned elsewhere in relevant instances.

Different versions of travelogues quoted by Vaidyanathan however did not conclude as to who actually demolished the temple between Babar and Aurangazeb. For this SA Bobde asked why was ‘Babarnama’ silent on the whole thing.

Vaidyanathan responded saying Babar had ordered his military commander to build it in Ayodhya, citing an inscription on which substantial doubt has been cast.

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