NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court, in its landmark Ayodhya ruling, called the Allahabad High Court’s 2010 order to divide the disputed site into three parts as “legally unsustainable”.
The apex court bench observed that a division of the disputed land will not serve the interests of the relevant parties or secure a lasting peace between them.
“Even as a matter of maintaining public peace and tranquility, the solution which commended itself to the High Court is not feasible. The disputed site admeasures all of 1,500 square yards. Dividing the land will not sub-serve the interest of either of the parties or secure a lasting sense of peace and tranquility,” the bench ruled.
The bench held that the Ram Janmabhoomi has no juristic personality, but Ram Lalla was a juristic person with legal rights.
“The Allahabad High Court has adopted a path that was not open to it in terms of the principles formulated above. It granted reliefs, which were not the subject matter of the prayers in the suits. In the process of doing so, it proceeded to assume the jurisdiction of a civil court in a suit for partition, which the suits before it was not,” the Supreme Court order stated.
The order further said, “This provision does not entitle the court in a civil trial to embark upon the exercise of recasting virtually the frame of a suit, which was undertaken by the High Court. There was no basis in the pleadings before the High Court and certainly no warrant in the reliefs that were claimed to direct a division of the land in the manner that a court would do in a suit for partition.”
Pointing out a serious flaw in the Allahabad High Court’s approach, the Supreme Court constitution bench said that granting an independent portion of the disputed land to Nirmohi Akhara, which had claimed to be the ‘shebait’ (a person who is appointed by temple authorities to serve the deity, maintain the property and manage it, and enjoys certain rights over the property) defied logic and was contrary to the settled principles of law.