Hindus get the disputed site in Ayodhya for a Ram Temple-- that and other top highlights from the Supreme Court verdict
- Give Muslims another site for a mosque, the Supreme Court ordered quashing the division of land by the Allahabad High Court.
- This is a historic judgement from the Supreme Court in the Ram Mandir (temple) - Babri Masjid (mosque) title dispute being fought in courts at least since 1885.
- The central government has been vested with the disputed land and to come up with a scheme for the construction of a temple in Ayodhya.
- The Muslims should be given a separate 5-acre site for the construction of a mosque, the SC ordered while calling the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 as against the law.
The Constitution bench of Supreme Court of India comprising of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Ashok Bhushan, and Justice Abdul Nazeer read out a unanimous verdict in the Ram Mandir (temple)- Babri Masjid (mosque) title dispute that has lasted for centuries, and being fought in the courts since 1885. The verdict is expected to settle the issue that has shaped India's politics for nearly 30 years now.
These are the key highlights of the order being read out:
1. Hindus get the possession of the disputed site in Ayodhya for a Ram temple. Possession of disputed 2.77 acre land will remain with Central government receiver. SC asks centre to frame scheme within 3 months and set up a trust for construction of a temple.
2. Alternate land should be allotted to the Muslims for a mosque. The Allahabad High Court was wrong in dividing the disputed Ayodhya site into three parts.
3. The government has to set up a trust that will enforce the Court's judgement.
4. Ram Janmabhoomi (birthplace of Lord Rama) is not a juristic person and therefore filed by Nirmohi Akhara is barred by limitation. However, the Akhara that has sought the management rights to the temple may get adequate representation going forward, if the government deems fit.
5. The report from the Archeological Survey of India (ASI), which cited the presence of a tenth-century structure beneath the Babri Masjid, has been upheld. But the court highlighted the fact that ASI refrained from recording a finding on whether mosque was built after demolishing a Hindu temple.
As it stood at the Supreme Court, there are 50 parties in the case but the broad issue is whether there should be a temple or a mosque in the disputed site or should the land be divided among the sparring parties as ruled by the Allahabad High Court in 2010.
Today, the Supreme Court has quashed the Allahabad High Court verdict, which divided the Ayodhya title into three equal parts between the Nirmohi Akhara, Lord Ram-- the deity represented by Triloki Nath Pandey (an RSS volunteer and Vishva Hindu Parishad functionary)-- and the Sunni Waqf Board. All three parties moved the Supreme Court against the order.
Reaction of the Muslim side
The Muslim side has expressed its displeasure with the Supreme Court verdict. While they agree with the parts of the verdict, they disagree with the handing over of the disputed site to the Hindus. Zafaryab Jilani, a litigant from the Muslim side, representing the Sunni Waqf Board, said that the verdict is "neither justice nor equity".
"We are not satisfied with the judgement and the court has reached some wrong conclusions. We will go through the judgement to decide the future course of action... but SC verdict has to be respected. Everyone must remain calm," Jilani said adding that they are yet to decide whether they will move a review petition.
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