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Idgah Maidan at Chamrajpet area in Bengaluru.New Delhi:
The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to give permission for Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations – tomorrow and day after – at Bengaluru’s Idgah Maidan and ordered a “status quo” for both parties. Here are the top arguments made in the Supreme Court on the caseKapil Sibal (Waqf board lawyer): For 200 years it is status quo, heavens are not going to fall if status quo is granted and writ petition is said.Dushyant Dave (Waqf board lawyer) : Articles 25 and 26 expressly protect the right of religious minorities to possess their properties. Don’t give an impression to religious minorities that their rights can be trampled upon like this.Mukul Rohatgi (Government lawyer): Even if it was not used in the past, it cannot be an argument to say it cannot be used now.Mukul Rohatgi (Government lawyer) : 15 years ago, when similar issues arose, an informal committee was formed, including the minister of Waqf, and the members agreed to allow use of ground for Dussera, Kannada Rajyotsava, Shiv Rathri. This was the decision taken 15 years ago.Mukul Rohatgi (Government lawyer): For the past 200 years, the land was used as a playground for children and all revenue entries are in the name of the state.Mukul Rohatgi (Government lawyer): The Supreme Court judgment is on right for mass prayers. No argument regarding possession or title was made. If nobody is the owner, it will go to the state.Mukul Rohatgi (appearing for the government): Nobody can be an exclusive owner of a burial ground in this country. Exclusive possession means nobody can walk through. This is different.Mukul Rohatgi (Government lawyer): At the end of the day, what is the position? It is an open ground. They are allowed two days’ prayer. There is a municipal tank. There are footpaths. Children are playing round the year. Is it an exclusive possession?Mukul Rohatgi (Government lawyer): Can someone say no because it’s a Hindu festival?Dushyant Dave (Waqf board lawyer): I wonder if any temple in this country, minority community will be allowed to enter for prayers?Dushyant Dave (Waqf board lawyer): You want to change a a status quo of 200 years.Solicitor General Tushar Mehta (For the government): Now at this stage, allow us for two days. It is not going to be a permanent structure. Ganesh festival is ultimately for visarjan.Dushyant Dave (Waqf board lawyer): Then then Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh gave an assurance in Babri Masjid case. You know what happened there.Kapil Sibal (Waqf board lawyer): For 200 years they never held it (Ganesh Chaturthi festival). So, what is the irreparable injury if it is not held now. Let us go by first principles.



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