The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Muslim cell in suit threat

Patna, Oct. 19 (PTI): The All India Muslim Personal Law Board today said if Parliament passes a legislation for temple construction at the disputed site in Ayodhya, it would challenge the law in the Supreme Court.

“In case Parliament comes out with a legislation depriving Muslims of the right to worship at Ayodhya, the board will file a petition in the apex court, which has made it abundantly clear that Parliament cannot change the basic foundation of the Constitution,” spokesperson S.Q.R. Illiyas said after a two-day executive committee meeting of the board here.

The board demanded reconstruction of a mosque at the site where the Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992. “We want restoration of the masjid at the very site where it existed before it was pulled down 11 years ago,” its general secretary Maulana Syed Nizamuddin told a news conference here while responding to BJP general secretary Pramod Mahajan’s assertion that a mosque would not be allowed to be constructed where a Ram Lalla temple already exists.

The board leaders, while asserting that they would abide by the court’s ruling on the title suit on the Ayodhya dispute, said Mahajan’s recent statement in Patna that a Hindu temple existed underneath the demolished structure was false and not categorically stated by the Archaeological Survey of India.

“We dispute the findings of the ASI and Mahajan’s appeal to Muslims to forego their claims on the site,” they said.

Illiyas said the board had submitted its objections to the ASI findings before the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court on October 8. As the matter was sub-judice, nobody had the right to speak about it in public, he added.

He also rejected the proposal for uniform civil code, saying “it interferes with the fundamental rights of the Muslims to freedom of religion”.

“As far as the family laws are concerned, the Muslims are bound by the rules of the shariat”, he said, adding that the board meeting also called upon the Muslims to abide by these rules.

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