Ayodhya disputed land goes to Hindus, Muslims to get alternate land

Nine years after the Allahabad High Court ruling, the Supreme Court on Saturday ruled that the Hindus would get the entire disputed 2.77 acres in Ayodhya.

This is the land on which the now demolished Babri Masjid once stood. The Muslims will get alternate land either in the surplus 67 acres acquired in and around the disputed structure by the central govt or any other prominent place.

The entire 2.77 acres will remain with the receiver and will be handed over to a trust to be formed in 3 months to build a temple. The Nirmohi Akhara is not the sebait, the court held. Instead it will get to be a member of the trust.

The court said that it was not ruling on faith but the fact that muslim possession over the inner courtyard was always contested by the hindus who continued to pray at the spot.

A bench led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi delivered the verdict. He was sitting alongside CJI designate S.A. Bobde, and Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S.A. Nazeer. The verdict was unanimous.

The Allahabad High Court had in 2010 partitioned the land between Hindus and Muslims in a 2:1 ratio.

The deity, Ram Lalla, and the sebait, the Nirmohi Akhara, had got two shares. The Uttar Pradesh Sunni central Wakf Board got a third of the share.

The land on which the now demolished Babri Masjid structure once stood went to the Ram Lalla. The Ram Chabutra and the Sita Rasoi went to the Akhara.

The Muslims were to get a share after adjustment by metes and bounds for exit and entry into each person’s share.

Both parties were unhappy with the judgement and had appealed to the top court. The court had stayed the judgement.

The issue remained pending till BJP leader Subramanian Swamy — though not a party — pressed for a hearing.

Former CJI J.S. Khehar then took it up and even offered to personally mediate between the two sides.

He later backtracked when he realise swamy was not a party to the case.

His successor former CJI Dipak Misra tried to hear the case but it was stymied by a plea by the Muslim side which insisted on a hearing to reexamine the Ismail Faruqui judgement which it said would prejudice its claims over the Babri Masjid.

The court eventually refused to reopen the case which had held that mosques were not essential to worship in islam.

The CJI Misra had set up a three judge bench to hear the title suit. But CJI Gogoi rescinded that judicial order to set up a five judge bench to hear it. The case was heard for over 40 working days, possibly one of the longest in the court.

The Hindus had claimed that they had been continously worshipping at the spot where the masjid stood, a claim contested by the Muslims who claimed that a mosque stood on the spot since 1528.

The Hindus had also claimed that a temple was destroyed to build a mosque.

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