Lucknow, Oct 1 : "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." PTI