The Supreme Court delivers a historical judgement as Ayodhya verdict in the decades-old Ram Janambhoomi and Babri Masjid land dispute case.
The five-judge bench headed by CJI Ranjan unanimously pronounced its verdict today. Some of the key highlights of the verdict are:
- SC has directed the Centre to formulate a scheme for setting up a board of trustees for construction of the temple at the disputed land. The entire 2.77 acres of land has been given to Ram Lalla.
- Centre will provide an alternate suitable land of size 5 acres within Ayodhya to Sunni Waqf Board. The land can be allotted by either the state or the Centre.
- SC has dismissed the suit by Nirmohi Akhara. Court also rejected the ownership claim by Shia Waqf Board on the disputed land.
- Nirmohi Akhara will get appropriate representation in the scheme by Board of Trustees.
In the disputed land case which is approximately 500 years old, SC has allotted the entire land of 2.77 acres for the construction of temple while directing the Centre to allot an alternate plot of 5-acres to Sunni Waqf Board for the building of the mosque.
The Supreme Court announced on Friday that the verdict on Ayodhya land dispute will be delivered on Saturday, 9th November 2019 at 10:30 am. In the historic judgement, Supreme Court has cleared the path of construction of Ram Temple at the disputed 2.77 acre land in Ayodhya.
Here are the key developments that took place in the jam-packed CJI courtroom:
11:35, Nov 9
Final Order: Supreme Court in its final order passed the verdict which has cleared the way for construction of Ram Temple at the disputed site. Supreme Court has directed the Centre to formulate a scheme within 3 months to set up a Board of Trustees. SC also directed the Centre to allow a suitable alternate plot of 5-acre to Sunni Waqf Board for building Mosque.
11:24, Nov 9
SC directs Centre to set up a Board of Trustees which will overlook the task of constructing the Ram Temple at the disputed site.
11:14, Nov 9
Supreme Court appreciates the role played by mediators Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Sriram Panchu and Justice Kalifulla. The mediation committee came real close to the final settlement.
11:10, Nov 9
SC has said that Nirmohi Akhara will get appropriate representation in the scheme by Board of Trustees. The disputed land will be handed over to the Board by the Centre and an alternate and suitable land of 5 acres will be allotted to Sunni Waqf Board.
11:07, Nov 9
SC orders allotment of a suitable and alternate land of 5 acres to Sunni Waqf Board. Under Ayodhya Act, SC has directed Centre to formulate a scheme within 3 months to hand over the disputed land to 2.77 acres to Board of trustees and alternate land of 5 acres to Sunni Waqf Board. Court decree the disputed site to the deity.
11:06, Nov 9
Supreme Court in its order said that Muslims presented no evidence which could prove exclusive possession prior to 1857. The SC also stated that finding and evidence by ASI support the fact that Babri Masjid was not built on vacant land. Rather it was built on a Hindu Structure. However, the finding of the Archaeological Survey of India could not clearly state whether any Hindu Temple was demolished or not to build the mosque.
11:06, Nov 9
Supreme Court said that Muslims offered Namaz in the mosque until their ousting in 1949 through desecration. On December 22 1949, idols of Ram and Sita were placed inside the mosque by Hindu activists. Government ordered to lock down the place but priests were allowed to perform puja on a daily basis. It was then a resident of Ayodhya, Hashim Ansari approached the court for removal of idols from the mosque.
11:03, Nov 9
The SC says that Allahabad high court judgement was in 2010 wrong in dividing the disputed site into three parts between the deity, Nirmohi Akhara and Sunni Waqf Board.
11:01, Nov 9
SC says that desecration of the Mosque in 1949 and its demolition is contrary to the law. SC has said the demolition in 1992 was in breach of its orders.
11:00, Nov 9
Court says that from the construction of the mosque till 1857, i.e., for 325 years, Muslims have given no proof or evidence that they offered prayers in exclusion of Hindus.
10:58, Nov 9
Hindus have believed that the birthplace of Lord Ram was inside the inner yard of the Mosque. CJI Ranjan Gogoi says that this faith of Hindus that Ram was born here is undisputed.
10:57, Nov 9
Court says that prior to 1857, Hindus were not prohibited from worshipping in the inner courtyard. The rails segregating inner and outer courtyard were installed in 1857 only. Court also says that Muslims never abandoned the mosque since they continued to offer Namaaz inside the inner courtyard though there were some restrictions. After installation of rails, Muslims continued to offer Namaaz in the inner courtyard while Hindus continued worshipping in the outer courtyard.
10:51, Nov 9
The Act of desecration of the mosque and placing idols inside on 22 Dec 1949 has been challenged by Sunni Waqf Board. Supreme Court says that the Board’s suit is maintainable.
10:49, Nov 9
Court says that accounts of travellers and historian regarding the birthplace of Lord Ram have to be read with circumspection.
10:46, Nov 9
Supreme Court says that whether faith and belief are justified is beyond the ken of judicial scrutiny. However, the title of the land can only be decided on legal evidence.
10:45, Nov 9
The Supreme Court says that the credentials of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) are beyond doubt and their finding cannot be neglected. ASI has found evidence of an underlying structure which supports that Babri Masjid built by Mir Baqi was not built on vacant land but on Hindu structure.
10:41, Nov 9
SC says that disputed land was a government land as per the revenue records.
10:40, Nov 9
SC rules that Nirmohi Akhara has no shebait rights and hence rules its suit as not maintainable.
10:39, Nov 9
Court states that the idols were placed inside the mosque in 1949.
10:37, Nov 9
Places of Worship Act reaffirms the commitment of India to protect the interests of all religious communities, says SC.
10:31, Nov 9
All the judges sign the copies of the judgment. The judgement is unanimous in the five-judge bench led by CJI.
10:30, Nov 9
Judges arrive in the courtroom and the verdict is soon to follow.
The dispute goes back to 1528 when Babri Masjid was constructed by Babur. Let’s take a look at the timeline of disputed Ayodhya land:
- 9 November 2019: The five-judge SC bench unanimously delivers the Ayodhya Verdict. The disputed land is given to Ram Lalla and Sunni Waqf Board to be allotted alternate suitable land of 5 acres within Ayodhya. Nirmohi Akhara and Shia Waqf Board suits rejected.
- 15 October 2019: The bench reserves its verdict in the title suit.
- 6 August 2019: The 5-judge bench starts daily hearing of appeals challenging the Allahabad HC verdict in the title suit.
- 8 March 2019: The matter is sent to mediation which is court-monitored. Panel submits its report in October.
- 10 January 2019: Justice UU Lalit recuses himself from the case and the hearing. Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer replace Justices UU Lalit and NV Ramanna.
- 8 January 2019: CJI Ranjan Gogoi forms a five-judge bench to hear the appeals.
- September 2018: The bench in a 2:1 judgement decides not to refer it to a larger bench.
- August 2017: A three-judge bench comprising CJI Dipak Misra, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S Abdul Nazeer begins hearing appeals on the case.
- March 2017: Chief Justice JS KHehar suggests an out-of-court settlement of the disputed land.
- May 2011: Supreme Court upholds the SC verdict.
- 30 September 2010: In another historic judgment of 2:1, Allahabad High Court orders a three-way division of the disputed land between Sunni Waqf Board, Ram Lalla and Nirmohi Akhara.
- 2009: Liberhan Committee submits its report to the Prime Minister.
- March 2003: SC orders that no religious activity will be carried out in the acquired area.
- April 2002: Hearings of the titles begin in Allahabad High Court.
- 1994: SC upholds the validity of the Acquisition of Certain Areas under Ayodhya Act.
- 1993: The government under Narsimha Rao acquires 67 acres of land of the disputed site and adjoining areas.
- 16 December 1992: Liberhan Committee is formed to investigate Babri Masjid Demolition.
- 6 December 1992: Karsevaks destroy the Babri Masjid.
- September 1990: BJP’s LK Advani starts Rath Yatra from Somnath in Gujarat to garner support for the construction of Ram Temple at the disputed land.
- 9 November 1989: Rajiv Gandhi government allows Shilanyas by VHP near the disputed land.
- 14 August 1989: All the title suits are shifted to Allahabad High Court. High Court orders status quo with respect to the disputed land site.
- 1 February 1986: Faizabad Sessions Court orders to open the site allowing Hindus to worship the idols. In protest, Babri Masjid Action Committee is formed.
- 1961: Petitions are filed by Sunni Waqf Board for possession of the land and removal of idols from the mosque.
- 1959: Nirmohi Akhara files plea seeking possession of the disputed land.
- 1950: Gopal Simla Visharad and Paramhansa Ramchandra Das file pleas in Faizabad court seeking permission to worship the idols of Ram Lalla.
- 22 December 1949: Idols of Ram Lalla are found inside the mosque. Hindus start offering prayers by calling the incident as a miracle and divine appearance. Others say that the idols were smuggled.
- 1885: Mahant Raghubir Das files a plea to build a temple on the land next to a mosque in Faizabad district court. The plea is rejected by the court.
- 1528-29: Mughal Emperor Babur’s commander Mir Baqi constructs Babri Masjid on the Ayodhya land.