The Supreme Court in a unanimous verdict on Saturday granted the entire 2.77 acre of disputed land in Ayodhya to deity Ram Lalla in a set of four directions. The 5-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi also directed the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government to allot a 5-acre land to Muslims at a "prominent" place in Ayodhya for building a mosque. The bench, also comprising Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer, directed the Centre to set up a trust in three months to formulate scheme for construction of Ram temple at the site where Babri mosque was demolished in 1992. It also asked the Centre to grant representation in the trust to Nirmohi Akhara if deemed fit by the government. The 1,045 page verdict, which commenced at 10:30 AM, went on for 45 minutes.
So what does the verdict actually mean? Who will get the disputed land in Ayodhya? Who will build the Ram Mandir? Where will be the mosque? Let's try to answer these questions minus all the legal jargon and break down the Supreme Court order to clearly understand what happened on Saturday and what will happen next.
Here's how to understand the Supreme Court court judgment:
Who Will Get What
||The Does The Verdict Say
|Ram Lalla Virajmaan
||2.77 Acre of the disputed land (this land will remain with a central government receiver)
||5 Acre suitable land at prominent place for building the mosque
||Will control the 2.77 Acre land, has to frame scheme within 3 months and set up trust for construction of temple
||Supreme Court dimissed their plea for control of disputed land, may get representation in trust
What Will Happen Next
- The possession of disputed land will be handed over to the deity Ram Lalla, one of the three litigants in the case. However, the land will remain with a central government receiver. The disputed site was government land in the revenue records.
- Supreme Court has directed allotment of alternative land to Muslims to build new mosque in Ayodhya. According to the order, a suitable land of 5 acre to be handed over to Sunni Waqf board at prominent place for building the mosque.
- The Muslim side - Sunni Waqf Board and All India Muslim Personal Law Board - has expressed dissatisfaction with the order. They may file a review petition.
- Centre will frame a scheme within 3 months and set up a trust for construction of a temple. Central and Uttar Pradesh govt can monitor together future actions by authorities. Centre may grant representation in the trust to Nirmohi Akhara if it deems fit.
What Was The Basis Of Supreme Court Order
- Supreme Court accepted the archeological evidence that Babri mosque was not built on vacant land. It said that terming ASI report as merely an opinion would be a great disservice. Fact that there lay a temple beneath the destroyed structure has been established by the ASI, it said. It also accepted that the underlying structure was not an Islamic structure. However, ASI did not establish whether temple was demolished to build the mosque.
- Supreme Court said that Hindus consider this place as birthplace of Lord Ram and even Muslims say that about the disputed place. It noted that faith of Hindus that Lord Rama was born at demolished structure is undisputed. The existence of Sita Rasoi, Ram Chabutra and Bhandar grih are the testimony of the religious facts of the place. Supreme Court said evidence suggests Hindus were in possession of outer court yard. The extensive nature of Hindus worshipping at outer courtyard at site has been there. Iron railing was set up at site in 1856-1857, it suggests Hindus kept worshipping at the site.
- The top court also said that the evidence suggests Muslims offered Friday prayers at mosque which indicates they have not lost possession. Despite obstruction caused in offering prayers at Mosque, evidence suggest that there was no abandonment.
- The most important point in the verdict said that Muslims have not adduced evidence they were in exclusive possession of dispute site. Muslims were not in possession of outer courtyard of the site. UP Sunni Central Waqf Board has failed to establish its case in Ayodhya dispute. On the contrary, Hindus established their case that they were in possession of outer courtyard.
What is Article 142
Exercising its powers under Article 142 of the Constitution, the top court bench -directed that the Central Government or Uttar Pradesh government should allot land measuring 5 acres to the Sunni Central Waqf Board for construction of the mosque within Ayodhya.
The Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it, and any decree so passed or orders so made shall be enforceable throughout the territory of India in such manner as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament and, until provision in that behalf is so made, in such manner as the President may by order prescribe.
Supreme Court's Big Observations
- Title cannot be established on ground of faith, belief; they are kind of indicator for deciding dispute.
- Damage to Babri Mosque was against its order, observed Supreme Court. It also said that placement of dieties inside the premises was also violation of law.
Details Of The Case
- 14 appeals were filed in SC against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. Initially, as many as five lawsuits were filed in the lower court.
- The first one was filed by Gopal Singh Visharad, a devotee of ''Ram Lalla'', in 1950 to seek enforcement of the right to worship of Hindus at the disputed site.
- In the same year, the Paramahansa Ramachandra Das had also filed the lawsuit for continuation of worship and keeping the idols under the central dome of the now-demolished disputed structure. The plea was later withdrawn.
- The Nirmohi Akahara moved the trial court in 1959 seeking management and ''shebaiti'' (devotee) rights over the 2.77 acre disputed land. Then came the lawsuit of the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Wakf Board which moved the court in 1961, claiming title right over the disputed property.
- The deity, ''Ram Lalla Virajman'', through next friend and former Allahabad High Court judge Deoki Nandan Agrawal, and the Janmbhoomi (the birthplace) moved the lawsuit in 1989, seeking title right over the entire disputed property on the key ground that the land itself has the character of the deity and of a ''Juristic entity''.
- All the lawsuits were transferred to the Allahabad High Court for adjudication following the demolition of the disputed Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid structure on December 6, 1992, sparking communal riots in the country.