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A security personel walks in front of the Indian Supreme court in New Delhi on August 27, 2014.
India’s top court said lawmakers with criminal backgrounds should not serve in government,
Image Credit: AFP

Highlights

  • 134-year-old dispute settled in just over 30 minutes
  • The Indian Supreme Court on Saturday held that the suit by Nirmohi Akhara over Ayodhya was time barred.
  • The findings of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) report cannot be brushed aside as conjecture.
  • ASI reports show that the Babri Masjid was not built on a vacant land. The underlying structure was not of Islamic origin.
  • The faith of Hindus that the place is birth place of Lord Ram is undisputed.
  • The Ram Janmabhoomi has no juristic personality. But Ram Lalla, the deity has juristic personality.
  • The Suit by Sunni Waqf Board is maintainable and not barred by limitation.
  • The Sunni Waqf Board has not been able to prove adverse possession. There is evidence to show that the Hindus had been visiting the premises prior to 1857.

Dubai: The historic verdict on the long-running Ayodhya dispute was announced by a five-member bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and including Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer.

Supreme Court judges said the ruling was “unanimous.”

Justices
India’s Supreme Court Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi (centre), flanked by Justices Sharad Arvind Bobde (second right), Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud (second from left), Ashok Bhushan (extreme left) and S Abdul Nazeer (extreme right).

Before the hearings began, the Supreme Court had appointed a mediation panel headed by a retired judge who interacted with Hindu and Muslim parties in an attempt to seek an out of court settlement.

The mediation panel, however, told the court in August that not all parties were ready for a settlement. Gulf News reported in July that Sunni Waqf Board, a key Muslim party, had decided to give up its claim on the disputed land.

Reaction

The Indian Supreme Court on Saturday ruled over the 134-year-old Ayodhya dispute. In its ruling, read in about 30 minutes, the Indian Supreme Court ruled the following.

  • The court held that the suit by Nirmohi Akhara over Ayodhya was time barred.
  • The findings of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) report cannot be brushed aside as conjecture.
  • ASI reports show that the Babri Masjid was not built on a vacant land. The underlying structure was not of Islamic origin.
  • The faith of Hindus that the place is birth place of Lord Ram is undisputed.
  • The Ram Janmabhoomi has no juristic personality. But Ram Lalla, the deity has juristic personality.
  • The Suit by Sunni Waqf Board is maintainable and not barred by limitation.
  • The Sunni Waqf Board has not been able to prove adverse possession. There is evidence to show that the Hindus had been visiting the premises prior to 1857.

Immediately following the reading of the verdict, India’s Sunni Waqf Board, the main Muslim petitioner, told Gulf News they welcomed the Ayodhya decision — and will abide by Supreme Court verdict.

“I welcome the verdict and humbly accept the Supreme Court order and we will not appeal or seek a review of the order,” Zufar Farooqui, chairman of Sunni Waqf Board told Gulf News over the phone from Lucknow.

“If anyone is saying that they are filing a review of the court order, then such persons have no relations with the Sunni board,” he added.

Ayodhya -0002
Security was tight in Ayodhya on Saturday. Schools and universities in Uttar Pradesh state where Ayodhya is located have been shut till November 11. Mobile internet has been curtailed in some areas.
Image Credit: Pawan Kumar / Special to Gulf News

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated in a tweet: “The Honourable Supreme Court has given its verdict on the Ayodhya issue. This verdict shouldn’t be seen as a win or loss for anybody. Be it Ram Bhakti or Rahim Bhakti, it is imperative that we strengthen the spirit of Rashtra Bhakti. May peace and harmony prevail!”

As it happened:


09:50AM

Board of Trustees

Government has been given 3 months to set up a board of trustees to build Ram Temple at Ayodhya.


09:50AM

Role of government

Supreme Court: However, the right of Ram Lalla to the disputed property is subject to the maintenance of peace and law and order and tranquility. Government to take measures for maintaining peace and harmony and law and order

Livelaw
The scene outside India’s Supreme Court in New Delhi.
Image Credit: Twitter

09:43AM

Land

A suitable plot of 5 acres must be granted to Sunni Waqf Board to build a mosque. The disputed land at Ayodhya must be given to a board of trustees for construction of Ram temple, rules India’s Supreme Court.

Paramilitary forces patrol Ayodhya on Saturday morning, November 9, 2019.
Paramilitary forces patrol Ayodhya on Saturday morning, November 9, 2019.
Image Credit: Pawan Kumar / Special to Gulf News

09:41AM

Alternate land to be given to Muslims

Hindus to get Ayodhya land, alternate land to be given to Muslims to balance the claim by both the communities: India’s Supreme Court.


09:39AM

Structure on land

There is enough material to prove the Babri Masjid was not constructed on a vacant land…There was a structure there… It was not an Islamic structure, says India’s Supreme Court.

Paras-02
Paramilitary forces patrol Ayodhya on Saturday morning, November 9, 2019.
Image Credit: Twitter / Gulf News

09:36AM

Violation of law

Demolition of Babri Mosque in 1992 was a violation of law, says India’s Supreme Court.


09:36AM

What evidence shows

Sunni Waqf Board has not been able to establish its claim of adverse possession as evidence shows that Hindus were not barred from entering the premises before 1857.


09:33AM

Adverse possession not established

The net result as it emerges from the evidence is thus: The Sunni central Waqf Boar has not established its case. Adverse possession has not been established.


09:32AM

No evidence

No evidence was led in the suit by Ram Lalla to support the contention that the existence of mosque above remains of temple would vest rights on the plaintiffs, says apex court.


09:31AM

Title over land

Title over land cannot be decided on the basis of faith and belief, but as per law, says Supreme Court


09:29AM

Courtyards

Muslims offered prayer inside the inner courtyard while the same was done by Hindus in the outer court yard, says the Supreme Court


09:28AM

‘Adverse possession’

Sunni Board cannot claim adverse possession.

Supreme Court holds that the mosque was not abandoned; mere cessation of namaz by Muslims cannot lead to inference that mosque was abandoned and they lost possession.


09:23AM

Sunni Waqf Board

Indian Supreme Court holds the suit by Sunni Waqf Board to be within limitation. The Board has authority to institute legal proceedings.


09:22AM

‘Supreme Court must be circumspect’

The accounts of the travellers must be read with introspection. Court must be circumspect in taking conclusions from what a traveller may have seen and observed.


09:20AM

Both faiths

The disputed site was used for offering worship by the devotees by both faiths.

Historical accounts indicate the belief of Hindus that Ayodhya was birthplace of Lord Ram.


09:18AM

Underline structure

The underline structure was not of Islamic. Existence of temple structure supported by evidence. But ASI does not support claim whether the temple was demolished or not.


09:18AM

Court Ruling

India’s Supreme Court says Archaeological Survey of India’s (ASI) report cannot be brushed aside. Babri mosque not built on empty land, a temple existed earlier.

Babri Masjid was not built on a vacant land, says Supreme Court. The underlying structure was not of Islamic origin.

[9:06 AM, 11/9/2019] BOBBY NAQVI: This court must accept faith and belief of worshippers


09:15AM

Supreme Court rejects Nirmohi Akhara’s petition. Suit filed by Nirmohi Akhara is barred by limitation. Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi: We have dismissed the Single Leave Petition (SLP) filed by Shia Waqf Board challenging the order of 1946 Faizabad Court

Suit filed by Nirmohi Akhara is barred by limitation: SC


09:12AM

‘Deity Ram Lalla is a juristic person’

India’s apex court rejects Nirmohi Akhara’s petition. Suit filed by Nirmohi Akhara is barred by limitation.

Indian Supreme Court holds Ramjanmabhoomi to be not a juristic person, but the deity Ram Lalla is a juristic person


09:06AM

Chief Justice Gogoi says

This court must accept faith and belief of worshippers.


09:05AM

Chief Justice reading verdict

High alert: India Supreme Court passing judgement on Ayodhya dispute.


08:47AM

Verdict expected at 9am UAE time (10.30 India time)

The court is expected to pass pass the judgement on appeals against a 2010 verdict by a three-judge bench of the Allahabad High Court.


08:40AM

High alert

Ahead of the verdict announcement, security agencies were placed on high alert and the government has sent thousands of police and para-military forces to Ayodhya.

Schools and universities in Uttar Pradesh state where Ayodhya is located have been shut till November 11 and mobile internet has been curtailed in some areas.

Earlier report

India’s Supremec court is expected to pass pass the judgement on appeals against a 2010 verdict by a three-judge bench of the Allahabad High Court.

The three judges justices Sibghat Ullah Khan, Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Justice Dharam Veer Sharma had handed over the disputed 2.77 acres of land to the three main petitioners — Ramlalla Virajman (deity Ram), Nirmohi Akhara (a Hindu sect) and Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board.

134-year-old dispute

The 134-old dispute has dominated social and political discourse for most of independent India and shaped the national psyche, built and demolished political careers and killed thousands in violent communal riots and bomb blasts across the country.

The dispute especially dominated the discourse since 1986 when a court in Faizabad ordered to remove locks on the mosque, allowing Hindus to worship at the disputed site.

In the subsequent years, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party launched a nationwide rally to mobilise support for a grand temple at the disputed site. This nationwide movement led to the demolition of Babri mosque by a mob of Hindu extremists, triggering more riots across the country.

The Supreme Court bench on Saturday passed the judgement after hearing all sides for 40 days till October 16. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court had appointed a mediation panel headed by a retired judge to seek an out of court settlement of the dispute.

The mediation panel received presentation from several parties, including Sunni Waqf Board which indicated it is willing to give up its claim on the disputed land. Legal experts interviewed by Gulf News earlier said the final verdict was expected to draw heavily on this mediation process.

How the dispute started

Placing of idols

On the night of December 22/23rd, 1949 idols were placed inside the Babri Mosque.

On January 1, 1950, a suit was filed by Gopal Singh Visharad in the court of Civil Judge at Faizabad in which temporary injuction was granted against the removal of Idols from the Mosque as well as for of Puja. The temporary injunction was modified on January 19, 1950 and the court allowed the Darshan and Puja.

Opening of locks

On February 1, 1986, a court in Faizabad directed the District Magistrate and S.S.P. of Faizabad to remove the locks of Babri Masjid, allowing people to enter the main building of the mosque for Darshan and Puja of the idols that were placed just below the middle dome of the Masjid.

This court order was challenged by Mohammed Hashim before the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court on February 3, 1986. The court ordered to maintain status-quo of the building in suit. In May 1986, Sunni Waqf Board filed another petition in the high court.

Suits filed

Since then a seriers of suits were filed by Gopal Singh Visharad, Param Hans Ram Chardra Das and Nirmohi Akhara. The fourth suit was filed by the UP Sunni Central Board of Waqf and eight other Muslims in a representative capacity on December 18, 1961 in Faizabad court. All these four suits were consolidated but the hearings never started. The case was shifted to Lucknow High Court. In 1989, Deoki Nandan Agarwal files a suit on behalf of deity Ram in Allahabad High Court.