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Oct 05, 2010 at 08:40pm IST

Sibal questions the basis of Ayodhya verdict

The Congress backs any bid to resolve Ayodhya dispute through talks but Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal has told CNN-IBN the party should stay out and allow courts to settle it.

Sibal has questioned the basis of the Allahabad High Court judgement in the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit case. Commenting on the judgement Sibal raised the question if the right to pray at the certain place gives possession right in an exclusive interview to Karan Thapar.

Karan Thapar: Does someone get possession just because you worship at a site?

Kapil Sibal: This is the issue. I know many instances where people worship underneath a 'peepal' tree. Some sadhus sit there and thousands of people walk around and worship together. Then the question is who is in possession?

Karan Thapar: OK. That sadhu can't say I posses the tree because I worship under it.

Kapil Sibal: Yes. Who is in possession at that moment or time? And what does possession mean? The essential element of possession is the right to egress and ingress. It is the right to enter and not allowing somebody to enter.

Karan Thapar: Is that not inherent to any one who worship at a particular site?

Kapil Sibal:No, you can not do that. According to the Indian Constitution, you can not prevent that. I can go to a Gurduwara and pray before Guru Govind Sahab. No body can stop me.

Karan Thapar: So though you have the right to enter and leave, you actually worship there but you don't have the possession?

Kapil Sibal: I don't have possession. The Gurudwara may actually own the land in which case they posses it and they have ownership over it. When you talk about Babri Masjid or you talk about a temple or prayers in 19th century or 15th-17th century, what is the concept?

Karan Thapar: You have said something very fundamental and forgive me. Just for the sake of the audience, I want to make clear, is it inherent in your argument - what your saying is just because party A or party B happen to worship, perhaps for decades at a particular site doesn't give that party possession of that site. Right?

Kapil Sibal: These are suits for title. Remember title is based on two things – 1) ownership – which is a prescriptive right established under the law. 2) Possession- now you can say long term possession entitles me and my community to pray here, that you can say.

Karan Thapar: But you can't say the opposite. The fact that I have had prayed here and it gives me possession?

Kapil Sibal:That is another issue. The court will have to decide on the matter.

Karan Thapar: High Court has itself has said that the status quo will be maintained for the next three months, giving time to the three parties to find a method amongst themselves amicably to divide---. Many people feel perhaps at this point of time the Government should step in and help them.

Kapil Sibal: No. The Government has no role to play in the matter. The Government can only--- state publicly that they would like the matter to be resolved by the parties concerned. But I do not think you should involve the Government in forcing a decision of this very complex and sensitive nature.

Karan Thapar: Exactly, why would that be an improper or wrong thing for the Government to do?

Kapil Sibal: What will the Government do? The Government will be asked by the parties concerned on what do you think should be the decision?

Karan Thapar: So the Government will have to give their own opinion?

Kapil Sibal: The Government will become the party to it and it is a no win situation for the Government. And why should the Government get involved in a private dispute?

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