SC Refers To 3 Past Odisha Cases In Its Ayodhya Ruling

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Three past cases related to Odisha were cited by the Supreme Court on Saturday as it delivered its verdict on the century-old Ayodhya dispute.

The Court made reference to these cases in the context of Hindu deities, with regards to the accounts of the ancient travellers and gazetteers and whether the present dispensations can remedy historical wrongs.

1948-Radhakrishna Das vs Radharamana Swami in Orissa High Court:
The court cited this case to state that the idol of Hindu deities cannot be regarded as minors.

“There is some analogy between a minor and a Hindu idol but the latter is neither a minor nor a perpetual minor,” it said.

1961-Pramod Chandra Deb vs State of Orissa:
It related to whether the state government was bound to honour decisions taken before independence on the abolition of grants to the descendants of the erstwhile rulers of Talcher, Bamra and Kalahandi. The SC had then ruled that it cannot compel the present government to correct a historical wrong.

Referring to this case in its Ayodhya verdict, the Court said, “…the legal consequences of action taken, proprietary rights perfected, or injuries suffered in previous legal regimes can only be enforced by this court if they received implied or express recognition by subsequent sovereigns. Absent such recognitions, the chance of sovereignty is an act of state and this court cannot compel a subsequent sovereign to recognise and remedy historical wrongs.”

1966-Mahant Shri Srinivas Ramanuj vs Surjanarayan Case:
The five-judge bench referred to this case as it observed that accounts of past travellers and gazetteer can be consulted for public history but cannot be admissible to source a claim of title.

In 1966, the court had ruled that O Malley’s Puri Gazetteer of 1908 on the history of Emar Mutt could not be relied on as evidence of title’.

In its Ayodhya ruling, the SC said “a clear distinction must be drawn between relying on a gazetteer to source a claim of title (which is impermissible) and as reference material on a matter of public history (which the court may consult to an appropriate extent with due circumspection)”.

(Sourced from the Times Of India)

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