Ayodhya Verdict Live Updates: Bringing down curtains on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid issue, one of the longest running title disputes in India, the Supreme Court has given the entire disputed 2.77-acre land to the Hindu parties with a trust to be formed by the Centre within three months to monitor the construction of a Ram Temple. The Sunni Waqf Board will be given 5 acres of alternate land, a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court ruled in the unanimous verdict. The Nirmohi Akhara also suffered a setback with the court saying it is not a ‘shebait’ or devotee of the deity Ram Lalla. The CJI Ranjan Gogoi-led bench of Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer, said the Akhara’s suit was barred by limitation.
The Ayodhya title suit verdict came nine years after the 2:1 judgment of the Allahabad High Court that ordered a three-way division of the disputed 2.77 acres of land between the three parties — Ram Lalla, Sunni Waqf Board and the Nirmohi Akhara. The Lucknow Bench had ruled that Hindus and Muslims would be joint title holders of the disputed land.
The apex court on Saturday said the mosque should be constructed at a “prominent site” and a trust should be formed within three months for the construction of the temple at the site many Hindus believe Lord Ram was born. The site was occupied by the 16th century Babri mosque which was destroyed by Hindu kar sevaks on December 6, 1992.
The bench said possession of the disputed 2.77 acre land rights will be handed over to the deity Ram Lalla, who is one of the three litigants in the case. The possession, however, will remain with a central government receiver. The Supreme Court said the Hindus have established their case that they were in possession of outer courtyard and the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board has failed to establish its case in the Ayodhya dispute.
Delivering its verdict in the politically-sensitive case of Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya, the apex court directed allotment of alternative land to Muslims to build a new mosque. The apex court said the extensive nature of Hindus worshipping at outer courtyard at the disputed site has been there, and the evidence suggests the Muslims offered Friday prayers at mosque which indicates that they had not lost possession of the site.
It said that despite obstruction caused in offering prayers at Mosque, the evidences suggest that there was no abandonment in offering prayers. The apex court further said that the underlying structure below the disputed site at Ayodhya was not an Islamic structure, but the ASI has not established whether a temple was demolished to build a mosque.
It said that terming the archeological evidence as merely an opinion would be a great disservice to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The court also said that the Hindus consider the disputed site as the birthplace of Lord Ram and even Muslims say this about that place.
The faith of the Hindus that Lord Ram was born at the demolished structure is undisputed, the apex court said. The bench said the existence of Sita Rasoi, Ram Chabutra and Bhandar grih are the testimony of the religious fact of the place.
The apex court said however that the title cannot be established on the ground of faith and belief and they are only indicators for deciding the dispute.