Ayodhya Verdict: The five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi heard the case for 40 days.
NEW DELHI: The disputed land in Ayodhya belongs entirely to the deity Ram Lalla or infant Lord Ram, the Supreme Court said today in a landmark verdict that paves the way for a temple at the site claimed by both Hindus and Muslims for decades. A five-judge constitution bench also ruled that a “prominent site” in the holy town in Uttar Pradesh will be allotted for a new mosque. Noting that it had been tasked with the resolution of a dispute “whose origins were as old as the idea of India itself”, the court called the razing of the 16th century Babri mosque at the disputed site by Hindu activists in 1992 unlawful. The Ayodhya dispute has gripped the nation for decades and dominated its politics.
Here are the top 10 updates on the Ayodhya verdict:
- The deity Ram Lalla, or infant Ram, one of the litigants in the case, has been given the ownership of the 2.77-acre disputed land, roughly the size of two football fields. But “the right of Ram Lalla to the disputed property is subject to the maintenance of peace and law and order and tranquility,” said five judges led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi in a unanimous verdict.
- “…on a balance of probabilities, the evidence of possessory claim of the Hindus…stands on a better footing than the evidence given by the Muslims,” said the 1,045-page judgement widely welcomed by politicians across the board, Hindu groups and also the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board.
- The faith of Hindus that Lord Ram was born at the site of the demolished structure is undisputed, the court said, and the existence of Sita Rasoi, Ram Chabutra and Bhandar grih are testimony to the religious fact of the place. A trust or board run by the government should be formed within three months for the building of a temple, said the court.
- Ordering a five-acre “suitable” plot for the Sunni Waqf Board, the court said this was necessary because the court must ensure that a wrong committed must be remedied. “Tolerance and mutual co-existence nourish the secular commitment of our nation and its people,” said the judges.
- The Ayodhya verdict comes after a century-old legal wrangle over the land where the 16th century Babri mosque stood before it was razed in 1992 by Hindu activists who believe it is the birthplace of Lord Ram. In the riots that followed, more than 2,000 people were killed.
- The court called the mosque razing a “calculated act of destroying a place of public worship” and said the Muslims had been wrongly deprived of a mosque which had been constructed well over 450 years ago.
- In their verdict, the judges referred to a report by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI), which they said confirmed that a structure existed underneath the mosque but did not specify whether it was a temple.
- “It is time for healing. It is big relief that we did our duty entrusted on us,” one of the judges told ISN7 after the historic verdict. The five-judge constitution bench heard the case for 40 days. The other members of the bench are Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Ayodhya judgement was like a golden chapter in the history of the nation and the Supreme court has shown strong determination. He also referred to the fall of the Berlin Wall and said: “Today is November 9. It is the date when the Berlin Wall fell. Two opposite ideologies took a new resolve by coming together.”
- An Allahabad High Court verdict prescribing a three-way division of the disputed land in September 2010 failed to satisfy the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla, the parties involved in the dispute. All three moved the Supreme Court.