Legal Incarnations

In the Ayodhya case, the Supreme Court must come to terms with various legal incarnations of the divine. 

One of the appellants in Ayodhya, Triloki Nath Pandey seeks to represent the interests of the legal minor Lord Ram and his alleged possession of the disputed land.

Indian courts have recognised Hindu idols as legal persons since the 19th century. In the 1887 Dakor temple case, the Bombay High Court explicitly declared a Hindu idol as a ‘juridical subject’.

However, the idol of Ram Lalla only appeared at Babri Masjid on the night of December 22nd 1949, making Lord Ram’s possession claim younger than the competing ones. To address this, Senior Advocate K Parasaran argued on August 9th that an idol is not necessary to establish a juridical subject.

On August 13th, Senior Advocate CS Vaidyanathan who also represents the deity, argued that the disputed site is itself a physical manifestation of the divine. In other words, the Ram Janmabhoomi (the “birthland” of Ram) is a juridical person.

This leads to the confusing proposition that the holy land is equivalent to an idol and hence a juridical subject. So the holy land is claiming possession of itself?

Day 8 of Final Arguments continue today. For updates, follow us here.

SC Observer

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