All about the Ayodhya Issue and Verdict Given by the Supreme Court of India
It was believed among sections of Hindus that the Babri Masjid, named after Mughal Emperor Babur, was built in Ayodhya after destroying a Ram Temple that marked the birthplace of the deity. Therefore, the Hindu parties wanted the land to themselves, contending that Lord Ram was born at a spot on which later the central dome of the mosque was built. The Muslim parties, however, contended that the mosque was constructed in 1528 by Mir Baqi, a commander of Babur’s army, without demolishing any place of worship and since the land rights had not been transferred to any other party, space was rightfully theirs.
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Supreme Court Verdict- Supreme Court has given the verdict on the Ayodhya Babri Masjid case in a Unanimous Way. The main ruling are as follows-
- The Hindus would get the entire disputed
77 acres in Ayodhya where the demolished Babri Masjid once stood.
- Possession of disputed 2.77 acre land will remain with the Central government receiver.
- The Muslims will get alternate five acres of land either in the surplus 67 acres acquired in and around the disputed structure by the central government or any other “prominent” place.
- A trust will be formed in 3 months to build a temple on the disputed land. The court held that the Nirmohi Akhara is not the shebait or devotee of the deity Ram Lalla but will get to be a member of the Trust.
Understanding Article 142
The Supreme Court, implicitly referring to the demolition of the Babri Masjid at the disputed site, said that it was invoking Article 142 “to ensure that a wrong committed must be remedied”.Article 142(1) states that “The Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it, and any decree so passed or order so made shall be enforceable throughout the territory of India in such manner as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament and, until provision in that behalf is so made, in such manner as the President may by order prescribe.”
This was the first time that the court invoked this power in a case involving a civil dispute over an immovable property, involving private parties.
In its judgment, the Supreme Court relied on part on centuries-old travelogues, gazetteers, and books to provide an account of the faith and belief that the Hindus placed in the Janmasthan. The travelogues that the court took note of included, among others, those by the European travelers Joseph Tieffenthaler, William Finch, and Montgomery Martin – these being written before the building of the grill-brick wall in front of the mosque during British rule.
Understanding verdict by the Supreme Court & Muslims reaction to it
One of the questions before the Supreme Court was whether the Sunni Wakf Board had acquired the title of the disputed land by adverse possession. Adverse possession is hostile possession of a property – which has to be continuous, uninterrupted and peaceful.
The Muslim side had claimed that the mosque was built 400 years ago by Babar – and that even if it is assumed that it was built on the land where a temple earlier existed, Muslims, by virtue of their long exclusive and continuous possession – beginning from the time the the mosque was built, and up to the time the mosque was desecrated – they had perfected their title by adverse possession. This argument has now been rejected by the Supreme Court.
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