High Court verdict on three-way division of land failed to settle dispute

The Allahabad HC had dismissed the suit filed by the Sunni Waqf Board for possession of the Babri Masjid because it was time-barred.

Published: 09th November 2019 08:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th November 2019 08:23 AM   |  A+A-

A team of CBI men surveying the debris of the disputed structure which was destroyed by the Kar-Sevaks in Ayodhya

A team of CBI men surveying the debris of the disputed structure which was destroyed by the Kar-Sevaks in Ayodhya.

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: The Special Full Bench of Allahabad High Court was the one to deliver the first crucial verdict on September 30, 2010, around 60 years after the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute went into litigation. The Bench, comprising Justices S U Khan, Sudhir Agarwal and D V Sharma, ordered a three-way equal distribution of the 2.77-acre land among two Hindu plaintiffs – Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla Virajman — and the Muslim plaintiff, Sunni Waqf Board. By a 2-1 majority verdict, the plaintiffs representing Lord Ram, the Nirmohi Akhara and the Waqf Board, were declared joint title-holders of the property.

Delivering the verdict, the Bench stated that the portion under the central dome of the demolished three-dome structure, where the idol of Ram Lalla had been kept in a makeshift temple, was the birthplace of Lord Rama “as per faith and belief of the Hindus”.

ISSUE OF FAITH
The Allahabad HC had dismissed the suit filed by the Sunni Waqf Board for possession of the Babri Masjid because it was time-barred. It had cited faith as the basis to declare the site the ‘janmasthan’ of Lord Ram, but ordered a three-way partition on the basis of historical use of the site by Muslims and Hindus.

The Bench further clarified that though all the three parties were declared to have a one-third share each in the property, minor adjustments could be made, for which the adversely affected party would be compensated from the adjoining 70-acre land acquired by the Centre.

DISSENTING VOICE
Justice Sharma was not in agreement with the other judges over the one-third formula. According to him, as the outer courtyard was in the exclusive possession of Hindus and “they were also worshipping in the inner courtyard (disputed structure), they had exclusive rights to the entire site. He stated the disputed site is the birthplace of Lord Ram. Justice Khan ordered the portion below the central dome to be allotted to Hindus in final decree.

OVER TEMPLE RUINS
While Justices Agarwal and Sharma had said that the mosque was built after the demolition of a temple, Justice Khan disagreed. But both Justices Agarwal and Khan agreed that the building that existed until 1992 was a mosque. 

legal eagles

K Parasaran
Appeared for Ramlala Virajman. The 93-year-old veteran lawyer has been working relentlessly since the SC embarked upon the legal adjudication of the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute. He argued for over two days about Ram Lalla Virajman’s rights as a juristic person, with the right to sue and be sued.

Sushil Jain 
The senior advocate Is the main counsel for the Hindu party Nirmohi Akhara in the Supreme Court. Jain’s arguments followed two lines of reasoning: that the Akhara is the shebait (a person who serves the deity) and the fact that Muslims have not been praying at the disputed structure at Ayodhya since 1934.C S

Vaidayanathan
The former additional solicitor general showed the court a 12th-century stone slab with a medieval-style Sanskrit inscription that was recovered from the disputed site. He argued that the verses on the slab mentions a Vishnu temple, built in Ayodhya, the then capital of Saketa Mandala.

Rajeev Dhavan 
The senior advocate, appearing for Sunni Wakf Board,  urged the SC to restore possession of the land to the Waqf Board, claiming it had always been in possession of the mosque (Babri Mosque) and idols were only placed in 1949 in the inner courtyard as part of a “planned conspiracy”. 

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