Ayodhya Case Verdict: Verdict delivered in Ayodhya case, All you need to know

Ayodhya Case Verdict
Ayodhya Case Verdict

Here are the key points that have been unveiled till now :

In the scheme by Board of trustees, appropriate representation be given to Nirmohi Akhara.11:10 (IST), NOV 09
Centre will hand over the disputed site to the Board of trustees and a suitable alternative plot of land measuring 5 acres at Ayodhya will be given to Sunni Waqf Board.

SC says Centre will formulate a scheme in three months to set up a board of trustees for construction of temple at the disputed structure11:07 (IST), NOV 09

SC orders allotment of alternative land to Muslims for setting up of a mosque while decreeing the disputed site to deity

Muslims have presented no evidence of exclusive possession prior to 1857. But thereafter they offered namaz there till they were ousted in 1949 through desecration: SC
SC says Allahabad HC was wrong in dividing the disputed site into three parts
11:03 (IST), NOV 09

SC says it will give relief in suits filed by Sunni Waqf Board and deity11:01 (IST), NOV 09

Desecration of mosque by placing idols in 1949 and demolition is contrary to law: SC

Sunni Waqf board failed to make claim on adverse possession over the mosque as it remained a contested site between Hindus and Muslims: SC

Destruction of mosque in 1992 was in breach of SC order, says CJI-led bench11:00 (IST), NOV 09
For 325 years, from the construction of the mosque till 1857, Muslims have given no evidence of offering prayers at the disputed structure in exclusion of Hindus, it says.10:58 (IST), NOV 09

But Hindus always believed that the birthplace of Ram was in the inner courtyard of the mosque, says SC

But documents show that prior to 1857, Hindus were not barred from worshipping in the inner courtyard.
The railings segregating the outer and inner courtyard was made in 1857: SC10:56 (IST), NOV 09

SC: Though there were obstructions, Muslims continued to offer namaz inside the inner courtyard. So, the Muslims have not abandoned the mosque

Mere existence of a structure beneath the mosque cannot lead to a title today even if the SC finds that it was a Hindu temple, SC says

Act of placing idols inside the central dome in December 22-23, 1949 has been challenged by Sunni Waqf Board. SC says Sunni Board’s suit is maintainable.
Accounts of travellers and historians mention faith of Hindus that the place is birthplace of Lord Ram.
The account of travellers has to be read with circumspection, SC says10:48 (IST), NOV 09

Whether belief and faith is justified is beyond the ken of judicial scrutiny: SC10:47 (IST), NOV 09

Faith and belief of Ayodhya being birthplace of Ram is undisputed so is that of Muslims to worship at the mosque: SC

Title of the land can be decided only on legal evidence, SC says

Archaeological evidence supports an underlying structure of Hindu origin, it says.
Archaeological evidence cannot be brushed aside as conjecture and hypothesis. Babri Masjid was not constructed on vacant land but on a Hindu structure, rules SC

ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) credentials are beyond doubt and the findings cannot be neglected, says CJI10:41 (IST), NOV 09

SC says that the disputed land was the government land in the revenue records10:40 (IST), NOV 09

Nirmohi Akhara suit is not maintainable and it has no shebait rights (priestly rights), rules SC

Idols of deity were placed at the structure in 1949: CJI

CJI said that it is inappropriate for the court to get into the area of theology10:34 (IST), NOV 09. This means that the court will not look into the mythological aspects of the matter.

Unanimous verdict given by the bench of 5 judges said that Babri mosque was built by Mir Baqi10:33 (IST), NOV 09

SC dismisses plea of Shia Waqf Board against Sunni Board on claim to Babri Masjid

The Supreme Court pronounced the much-awaited Ayodhya case Verdict today. The decision arrived, almost a decade after the Allahabad High Court had divided the disputed site in Ayodhya in a ratio of 2:1 between Hindu and Muslim petitioners. Both sides had then moved to the apex court against the judgment.

Ayodhya Ram Mandir Babri Masjid Dispute Explained
Ayodhya Ram Mandir Babri Masjid Dispute Explained. Image Credits: studyiq.com

The ruling is important and is sure to impact the people and politics in the country. Considering the fact Ram Janmabhoomi is a prominent matter of the Hindutva movement and one of the longstanding promises of the ruling party BJP. It is also likely to define the future of the relationship between the two communities.

The entire country has been put on alert to prevent violence that could erupt following the verdict. Ayodhya is undoubtedly a very emotional issue and has previously led to some of the worst riots India has seen over the past few decades.

Such is the sensitivity of the matter that the Chief Justice himself held meetings with UP officials to inspect the security measures.
Hindu groups have been claiming that the Babri Masjid, which stood on the site and was later brought down on December 6, 1992, was built after demolishing an ancient temple that stood at the birthplace of Lord Ram.

In the decision given by the Allahabad High Court, the deity itself, Ram Lalla Virajman, and the Nirmohi Akhara got two-thirds of the disputed land, including the land where the structure stood. The Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board got a one-third share of the land from the additional 67 acres acquired by the central government around the structure to develop entry and exit facilities. Both sides were uncontended and moved to the top court, seeking sole possession of the disputed 2.77 acres. The apex court later stayed the ruling.

A five-judge bench was appointed to decide the matter. The top court decided to hear the dispute as a land suite. The bench comprising of the outgoing Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde, Ashok Bhushan, DY Chandrachud and S Abdul Nazeer, pronounced the decision at 10.30 am in Court 1, as was mentioned in the notice issued by the court registry on Friday.

Court 1 is the Chief Justice’s courtroom. The date of the decision took one and all by surprise since Supreme Court Benches do not generally function on Saturdays. Also, there were speculations that the decision might arrive between 13-15 November. But CJI Gogoi’s unprecedented meeting with the Uttar Pradesh director general of police and chief secretary on Friday indicated that the judgment was just around the corner. The court will be shut on Monday and Tuesday on account of a local holiday and Guru Nanak’s birthday, respectively.

Security has been tightened throughout the country as the home ministry issued advisories to all states to be prepared for any adverse situation and to keep a close eye on troublemakers. The top court not only had to decide who owns the land but also about the division of the disputed land.

The court will also try and limit the decision to this case exclusively, so it cannot be further used as a precedent and be extended to other parts of the country. Mathura and Kashi are the other two sites with similar conflicts. Representatives from both sides have reached out to their communities to warn them against reacting with violence and instead accept the court verdict in all situations.

History of Ayodhya Case: Babri Masjid or Ram Mandir?

The land on which Babri Masjid, a medieval age mosque, stood is considered to be the birthplace of Lord Ram by Hindus. This has been the core issue of dispute between the two communities. Here is a little info about the events and timelines that have happened in the Ram Janmbhoomi case

The first documented instance of communal violence in Ayodhya was reported in the 1850s over a mosque at Hanuman Garhi. The Babri mosque was attacked by Hindus in the area. Since then, local Hindu groups of Ayodhya started to demand that they should have the possession of the site, and they should be allowed to build a temple on the site.

All of these demands were denied by the English government. In 1946 Akhil Bharatiya Ramayana Mahasabha (ABRM), a subsidiary of the Hindu Mahasabha started an agitation for the possession of the site. This agitation gained the support of Sant Digvijay Nath of Gorakhnath Math who joined hands with the ABRM in 1949.

The duo organized a 9-day continuous recitation of Ramcharit Manas, at the end of which the Hindu activists barged into the mosque and placed idols of Rama and Sita inside. Locals were led to believe that the idols had ‘miraculously‘ appeared inside the mosque. The event occurred on 22 December 1949.

The then Stand of government over Ayodhya and Ram Mandir:

The Ayodhya Case Verdict
Ayodhya Case Verdict!

Then P.M, Jawaharlal Nehru was of the opinion that the idols should be removed. However, a local official K. K. K. Nair, who was known for his Hindu Nationalist connections, refused to implement the orders, citing that it would lead to communal riots. The police locked the gates of the premises so that neither Hindus nor Muslims could not enter. The idols, however, remained inside and priests were allowed entry to perform daily worship.

This was how the mosque was converted into a functional temple. Both the Sunni Wakf Board and the ABRM filed civil suits in local court claiming their possession to the site. The land was declared to be disputed, and the gates of the site remained locked.

In 1985, prime minister Rajiv Gandhi gave in to the Muslim uproar and discontentment in the Shah Bano affair. Overruling the Supreme Court’s decision that estranged wife Shah Bano was entitled to alimony from her ex-husband, he enforced a law to abolish the alimony provision in conformity with the Sharia. The decision was hailed by the Muslim community but did not go down well with the Hindus.

Discontentment among the Hindu community?

A clear discontentment was visible among the Hindu community of the nation.

Ayodhya Case History
Ayodhya Case History

Months later, Rajiv tried to restore the balance by giving the Hindus something. He ordered the removal of locks on the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. Until then, only a priest had been permitted to perform puja once in a year for the idols installed there in 1949. After the decision, all Hindus were given access to what they considered the birthplace of Rama, who was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

kar sevaks in ayodhya. History of Ayodhya Case
History of Ayodhya Case : kar sevaks in ayodhya.

The dispute further heated up in 1992, when on December 6, kar sevaks (activists) stormed the mosque compound in huge numbers and demolished the Babri mosque. An event that resulted in communal tension and riots between the two communities across the country. In 1993, the Central government took over 67 acres of the land in and around the site and requested the top court’s opinion on whether a Hindu temple ever existed at the site before the mosque was built.

Ayodhya Act of 1993

 History of Ayodhya Case: Ayodhya Act of 1993
History of Ayodhya Case: Ayodhya Act of 1993

The Ayodhya Act of 1993 was passed in the same year as well which also allowed only a priest to worship in the makeshift temple constructed at the site.
In 2003, the Allahabad High Court asked the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to carry out an in-depth study and an excavation survey to determine the testify if a temple-like structure ever existed there.

ASI reports on disputed Babri Masjid or Ram Mandir:

The Ayodhya Act of 1993 was passed in the same year as well which also allowed only a priest to worship in the makeshift temple constructed at the site.
In 2003, the Allahabad High Court asked the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to carry out an in-depth study and an excavation survey to determine the testify if a temple-like structure ever existed there.

History of Ayodhya Case: Ayodhya Act of 1993
History of Ayodhya Case: Ayodhya Act of 1993. Image Credits: Dailyhunt

ASI reports indicated the presence of a 10th-century temple under the disputed site and confirmed human activity at the site dating back to the 13th century BC. Muslim groups immediately dismissed the ASI findings citing the lack of evidence. However, the report was accepted and upheld by the High Court.

The matter that was on trial since long was finally decided in 2010, when Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court ordered division of the site into three equal parts, among Nirmohi Akhara, Ram Lalla (the deity) and the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board. The decision was not accepted by the parties and all of them decided to take the matter to the Apex court.

Supreme Court on Disputed Ayodhya Case:

The Supreme Court, in2011 stayed the orders of the High Court and ordered all parties to maintain the status quo.
In 2014, Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) added construction of the Ram Janmbhoomi temple in its General Election manifesto. The BJP also came to power in the Centre but did not take any action since the matter was on trial in the Supreme Court.

In 2015, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) launched a nationwide campaign and started collecting stones for construction of the Ram temple. Speculations became rife that some development is going to unfold in the matter. Later in the year, two trucks of stones arrived in Ayodhya. These stones were, however, blocked from getting closer to the cite. Akhilesh Yadav who was the CM of Uttar Pradesh blocked the stones citing law and order issues.

In 2017, gauging the sensitivity of the case, the Supreme Court urged the stakeholders to find an out-of-court settlement. Then Chief Justice JS Khehar also offered mediation to settle the dispute amicably. In a separate case, the top court ordered reopening the criminal conspiracy charges against senior BJP leaders such as former Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, and Uma Bharti.

In the same year, the Shia Waqf Board filed an application in the Supreme court. The application stated that the Ram Temple would be built in Ayodhya and a mosque would-be built-in Lucknow. However, the move faced stiff opposition from the Sunni Waqf Board. The Supreme Court shifted hearing of appeals to February 2018.

In Feb 2018, Kapil Sibal appeared for the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board and questioned the court about the hurry to decide the issue. He also requested that the hearing be put off till July 2019 as it could influence the general elections in 2019.

The court resumed hearing from January 10, 2019. The top court tried to settle the matter via mediation and also appointed a mediation panel. But the mediation did not yield any fruitful results and the court decided everyday listing of the case. After hearing the matter for 40 continuous days, the court reserved its order.

The Ayodhya Case Verdict:

The matter was finally decided today.
Now that the decision has finally arrived, there will be different opinions for all. Some people might disagree, some might agree. However, we must ensure that we are all Indians first and, in such situations, we must place India first. Let us all maintain the beauty of Unity in diversity and embrace the decision. No matter what our religion is, we are all taught humanity first.

Garima Tomar

Senior Software Development Analyst at an IT firm

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