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    BlogNews & JudgementCASE LAW: AYODHYA LAND DISPUTE IN A NUTSHELL - READ NOW

    CASE LAW: AYODHYA LAND DISPUTE IN A NUTSHELL – READ NOW

    INTRODUCTION

    On Ayodhya Land Dispute, there was a judgment given by the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court in 2010 that divided the title to the Babri Masjid / Ram Janambhoomi site which was overturned by the Supreme court. It awarded the title to the Shri Ram Virajman, a deity. 
    Now the case facts of the Ayodhya land dispute are as below.

    IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA 

    Name of the Case – Ayodhya Land Dispute Case
    Citation – Civil Appeal Nos 10866 – 10867 of 2010
    Year of the Case – 9 November, 2019

    Appellant – M Siddiq (D) Thr Lrs 
    V.
    Respondent – Mahant Suresh Das & Ors

    Judges: Ranjan Gagoi, Sharad Bobde, D.Y. Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan, Abdul Nazeer 

    Case No. : CA 10866-10867 / 2010

    Acts Involved: , Constitution of IndiaPlaces of Worship (Special Provisions) Act of 1991

    Important Sections

    Section 5 of Place of Worship (special Provisions) Act of 1991, Article 142 of Constitution of India 

    FACTS

    • ASI’s report claims that they found evidence and existence of Mandir under the surface of Masjid which was of the 12th Century and in 1528 on the same area a Masjid was built but local people said Masjid was built after demolishing the temple only.
    • So after this Lucknow bench of Allahabad high court on 30th sep. 2010, delivered a historical judgment which divided the disputed area in to 3 parts, the first part of Ram Murti was given to Ram Lalla Virajman and in the second Part, Seeta Rasoi, Bhandara and Ram Chabutra was given to Nirmohi Akhara and the remaining third part was given to Sunni Waqf Board but on 9th May, 2011, Supreme Court stays the decision of the Allahabad High Court. 
    • In Feb 2016, for the nirman of Ram Mandir Subramanian Swamy filed a case in Supreme Court and in March 2017 the chief justice of Supreme Court justice JS Khehar advised him to solve this dispute outside the court by discussion between related parties.
    • Till December 2017, there were 32 appeals in Supreme Court against the decision of Allahabad Court then the supreme said that hearing of this case will start from January 2019.

    BACKGROUND

    1528 – 1859

    In 1528 the commander of Babar built Babri Masjid, the belief of local peoples of that place was that Masjid was built after demolishing Ram Mandir over there and because of this first riots happened between Hindus and Muslims from 1853 to 1859. To stop these Riots, British Government comes around and they say that we will divide this area into two different parts. The inside portion of that area will be used by Muslims and the outside portion will be used by Hindus.

    1885 – 1949

    • After that in 1885 for the first time this matter went to court, when Mahant Raghubir Das demanded for building the roof on the outer side for puja and worship.
    • Now comes a very important date 23rd December 1949, when on the main part of the Masjid Lord Ram’s Statute was placed so now Hindus started worshiping on that part of the land also, once again the situation got tense. So to control the situation, the government of India closes that whole area and puts a complete ban over there.

    1950 – 1959

    Many civil cases got filed to remove this governmental ban like in 1950 Mahant Ram Chandra Das filed a case for Right to worship for Hindus.
    In 1959 Nirmohi Akhara filed a case saying that the possession of that area should be handed to them and after two years in 1961, Sunni waqf board also filed a case saying that the ownership of that place (Babri Masjid) should be given to them.

    1986 – 1990

    Vishav Hindu Parishad formed a committee for building Ram Mandir.Then the results were also coming for governmental ban. One of which came in 1986, when the faizabad court allowed Hindus to worship in that place. By this decision Muslim formed a committee for themselves i.e. Babri Masjid action committee.

    In 1989 another case filed named “Ram Lalla Virajman’‘ which also wanted the ownership right and whole passion of that land. In 1990 Minister Lal Krishna Advani starts a Rath yatra from Somnath of Gujarat to Uttar Pradesh , result of this act was very dramatic and riots begin all over and then he got arrested in Bihar.

    6th Dec, 1992 – 1992

    On 6th December 1992, thousands of kar sevak moved to Ayodhya and demolished Babri Masjid and built a temporary Ram Mandir. So after that demolition the Liberian Committee was appointed on 16th December 1992.

    At that time in centre there was Narasimha Rao’s congress government. So it is proposed that at disputed land of Ayodhya, A Ram Mandir, A Masjid, Library, A Museum, and other facilities should be provided. 

    2002 Onwards

    In April 2002, a bench of 3 judges constituted at Allahabad High Court for deciding the ownership right of that land.

    ISSUES

    1. Is the claim made by the Hindu side particularly by the deity Ramlalla Virajman in 1989 time barred? 
    2. When was the structure built, by whom, and who was in possession of the land? 
    3. The Supreme Court will decide on the 2010 ruling of the Allahabad High Court that directed a three way partition of the disputed land. So, What were the questions the High Court had examined, leading to the appeals in the SC?

    CONTENTIONS

    • Nirmohi Akhara was saying that possession of inner Courtyard yard from 1934 should be given to them but did not have any document to prove their demands that from 1934 they only had possession of that area.
    • Sunni Waqf Board said that on 6th December 1992 on that place there was a masjid on that area. Placing Ram Murti on Dec. 1949 was an illegal act and in Ram Chabutra Hindus can worship and it is the birth place of Lord Ram. But the Inner Courtyard should be given to Sunni Waqf Board. 
    • But CS Vidhyanayjan said that, there was only Ram mandir since from the beginning and Babri Masjid was built after demolishing the temple and from 1949 when the Murti was placed since then the area was in their possession and stressed on ASI’s report and said that in the slabs and pillars of Babri Masjid, Hindu motives and scriptures were found which shows that there was Ram Mandir earlier. 

    JUDGEMENT

    Decision

    The verdict by the five-judge Constitution Bench delivered on Nov 9, 2019 was unanimous. The bench handed over the disputed site to the Centre in Ayodhya. It also held that a trust must be set-up for construction of a temple within 3 months. Muslim parties were awarded five-acre appropriate plot in Ayodhya. In its verdict, SC bench said, Ram Lalla, as a deity, can be juristic entity. But “janmabhoomi” cannot be a juristic entity. Supreme Court dismissed Single Leave Petition filed by Shia Waqf Board challenging Faizabad Court order which was delivered on 1946. Court has been asked to grant representation in the trust to Nirmohi Akhara if deemed fit. 

    Reasoning

    Matter before the apex court was on appeal against the verdict delivered by Allahabad High Court in 2010. In this High Court had divided 2.7 acre land in Ayodhya equally between 3 parties i.e. Ram Lalla Virajman, Nirmohi Akhara, UP Sunni Central Waqf Board. Nirmohi Akhara Suit claiming Shebait rights has been time-barred so the Supreme Court ruled to dismiss it. 

    The Court referred to  Section 5 of the Places of worship (Special Provisions) Act of 1991 which prohibits the conversion of the status of any place of worship , to say that all religions are equal and also refer to Article 142 of the Constitution by exercising of its power that ensure that wrong committed must be remedied. So the whole concept and analysis is drawn from this case that judgment nevertheless concluded that the Sunni Central Waqf Board was unable to prove its claim of exclusive title and continuous possession of the disputed land. Court also held that there was both oral and documentary evidence to support the Hindu’s faith that janam – sthan located where the Babri Masjid was constructed.


    This Case Summary on Ayodhya Land Dispute is written by Ms. Simran, student of penultimate year of Modi University, India. She is campus ambassador & legal researcher at Legal Thirst platform. She is doing excellent in her field. We hope for her great future ahead.


    Disclaimer: The opinions and views in the articles and research papers published on this website; are personal and independent opinions of the author. The website is not responsible for them.

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