Dispute full of landmines, we tried to clear it: Justice Khan

"Here is a small piece of land where angels fear to tread...It is full of innumerable landmines".

Lucknow: "Here is a small piece of land where angels fear to tread...It is full of innumerable landmines".

This is how Justice Sibghat Ullah Khan described the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute in a prelude to his judgement and likened it to a 1,500-sq yard minefield which he
and his brother judges had to clear.

"Here is a small piece of land (1,500 square yards) where angels fear to tread. It is full of innumerable landmines. We are required to clear it."

"Some very sane elements advised us not to attempt that. We do not propose to rush in like fools lest we are blown. However, we have to take risk. It is said that the greatest risk in life is not daring to take risk when the occasion for the same arises," he wrote.

The judgement yesterday that ran into 285 pages says that judges cannot decide whether they had succeeded or failed in their attempts.

"Once angels were made to bow before man. Sometimes he has to justify the said honour. This is one of those occasions. We have succeeded or failed? No one can be a judge in his own cause," he said.

The Prelude concludes with: "... herein follows the judgement for which the entire country is waiting with bated breath."

Justice Sudhir Agarwal, who had written the lengthiest judgement, began by quoting extensively from the Rig Veda with verses referring to the destruction and the subsequent
creation of the universe.

"During the Dissolution, there was neither existence nor non-existence, and at that time neither Lok (world) was there nor was anything beyond the space. What encompassed all at that time? Where was the abode and of whom? What was the unfathomable and deep water?" he quoted from Vedic text in the beginning of his judgment.

Justice Agarwal, whose judgement ran into 21 volumes and more than 5000 pages, further quoted, "None knows and none can tell as to from where and how the Creation took place, because even the scholars or those having foresight, were born after the Creation. Hence, none knows the source of this Creation."

"At that time there was neither death nor immortality, and there was also no knowledge of day and night in absence of the Sun and the Moon. In that stage of vacuum, Brahm (the Supreme Being) alone was imbibing life from His own power. There was nothing beyond or distinct from Him," he said.

Justice Dharam Veer Sharma had no such preludes and opted to address the issue straightaway.