A signature on the petition had changed the identity of Zafaryab Jilani, advocate of the Muslim side in the Babri Masjid case

A signature on the petition had changed the identity of Zafaryab Jilani, advocate of the Muslim side in the Babri Masjid case
Rohit Mishra, Lucknow: It is about 1975. Zafaryab Jilani had returned to Lucknow after studying from Aligarh Muslim University. Jilani, who belongs to Malihabad, made Lucknow his workplace. He started practice in the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court. Meanwhile, the case of receivership of the disputed site of Ayodhya was filed in the Allahabad High Court. Then some people of Awadh Bar Association of Lucknow Bench believed that since the matter is related to Faizabad (now Ayodhya), it should be heard in Lucknow Bench and not in the main bench of Allahabad. Some members of the association filed a petition and Zafaryab Jilani also signed it. Just this signature gave a new identity to Zafaryab Jilani.

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Jilani once referred to this issue and said that it was because of that petition that the matter was finally transferred to the Lucknow Bench in 1977. However, till the judgment, I was not much aware that the matter was being listed regularly and my name was also in that list. Whenever there was talk of the Ayodhya dispute for many years, the Babri Masjid Action Committee was also mentioned. Zafaryab Jilani was recognized as the convenor of this action committee for years.

Committee formed in response to Rath Yatra
Jilani, who advocated the Muslim side in the Ayodhya dispute for almost four decades, had told how this committee was formed. Then he had said, in 1983 Vishwa Hindu Parishad was taking out Rath Yatra in favor of Ram Mandir. This was the time when some people from the Muslim side also started preparing to challenge this issue in the court. One day the Muslim Personal Law Board contacted me. Gave some instructions through preparation. I was not the only one. The board had asked many more people to do the same.

Many history books were searched in search of legal and historical aspects related to Babri Masjid coming into existence. Eventually a 12-page note was prepared, which was circulated among the board members. In February 1986, when the District Judge of Faizabad ordered the locks to be opened, the Babri Masjid Action Committee was formed as a campaign to defend the Muslims.

UP’s Additional Advocate General was in the Akhilesh government
In 2012, when the SP government was formed and Akhilesh Yadav became the CM, Jilani was made Additional Advocate General. He had been representing the government in the courts throughout the tenure of the government. Apart from this, Zafaryab Jilani was also the secretary of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board. He has also been associated with many educational institutions.

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