The decades-long Ayodhya verdict has finally got a decision. After years of hearings, a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court judges headed by Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi has given the final verdict on the disputed land of Ayodhya.
On the morning of 9th November 2019, at 10.30 PM the 5 judge bench came out of the courtroom No. 1 of Supreme Court after signing the final copies of the judgement and recited the verdict.
CJI Gogoi said that the Babri Masjid was built by Mir Baqi. He further said that the Idols of Hindu Deities were put in structure in 1949. He said that the disputed land is a central’s property as per the revenue records.
While highlight the findings by ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) Gogoi said, “They cannot be ignored.”
The judgement further highlighted that the Babri Masjid was not constructed on vacant land but a Hindu structure. Hence, archaeological evidence cannot be brushed aside as conjecture and hypothesis as it supports the existence of an underlying structure of Hindu Origin. However, the Supreme Court further said that the existence of a structure beneath the mosque cannot lead to a title today even if the SC finds that it was a Hindu temple.
Apart from this, the Supreme Court not only gave attention to the legal evidence but also took into account the two religions. Hindus have faith and belief in Ayodhya being the birthplace of Ram. On the other hand, Muslims used to offer prayers at the mosque.
Before coming to any conclusions, the Supreme Court has also considered the accounts of travellers & historians who have paid a visit to the location. They have also mentioned the faith of Hindus in the place.
Muslims offered prayers inside the inner courtyard despite the obstructions, while Hindus prayed the outer courtyard simultaneously. This is a clear sign that Muslims never abandoned the place.
However, one major point considered in the decision is that before 1857, Hindus were not barred from worshipping in the inner courtyard. The railings segregating the outer and inner courtyard were made in 1857.
However, as per the belief of Hindus, the birthplace of Ram was in the inner courtyard of the mosque. Apart from this, for 325 years, beginning from the completion of construction of the mosque till 1857, Muslims have given no evidence of offering prayers at the disputed structure in exclusion of Hindus and of exclusive possession before 1857. However, afterwards, they offered namaz there till they were ousted in 1949 through desecration.
Besides, the Supreme Court highlighted that the stand of Sunni Waqf Board against the placing of idols inside the dome on 22-23 December 1949 and that their case is maintainable and placing idols was against the law. Also, SC said that destruction of Mosque by placing idols in 1992 was in breach of a Supreme Court order.
Finally stating that the decision of Allahabad Court for dividing the land into three parts was wrong and is over-ruled, Supreme Court bottom lined the verdict by ordering allotment of an alternative 5-acre land to Muslims for setting up of a mosque while decreeing the disputed site to Hindu deity Lord Ram.
The SC has also ordered formulation of a scheme in coming 3 months, to set up a board of trustees for the construction of the temple at the disputed structure. After that, the centre will hand over the disputed site to the Board of trustees. The appropriate representation will be given to Nirmohi Akhara, the primary pleader, in the scheme by Board of trustees.
SC has also ordered the centre to a lot a land measuring 5 acres at Ayodhya will be given to Sunni Waqf Board.
The 5 Judges bench consisted of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justice SA Bobde, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Ashok Bhushan & Justice Abdul Nazeer.
Author: Keshav Kothari
A young CA Aspirant who is a writer and a photographer with the zeal to convey a positive perception through his work.