The Background, New Delhi:
In a unanimous decision today, the Supreme Court accepted the claim of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other Hindu parties to the disputed 2.77 acres in Ayodhya. The five-judge bench said the rightful claimant of the land will be Ram Lalla, the last litigant of the case. It has also directed the Central Government to allocate five acres of “alternate land” to build a mosque at a prominent place in Ayodhya.
While reading the judgment today, the Chief Justice Ranjan asked the Centre to give five acres land to Sunni Wakf Board and at the same time make necessary arrangements for the construction of the temple by forming a trust.
“Central government shall form in three to four months a scheme for setting up of a trust. They shall make necessary arrangements for management of trust and construction of the temple, ” said Chief Justice Gogoi. Appropriate representation must be given for Nirmohi Akhara in the trust.
He said that the possession of the inner and outer courtyard shall be handed over to the trust.
“Suitable plot of land measuring five acre shall be handed over to Sunni Wakf Board.” said the apex court.
A decade- long legal dispute was fought by right- wing party Hindu Mahasabha, a sect of Hindu Monks Nirmohi Akhara and Muslim Wakf Board over 2.77 acres of land in Ayodhya.
The judgment held the Hindu belief that the disputed site is the “birthplace of Lord Ram” is correct. It has also observed, the Sunni Wakf Board has not able to prove adverse possession of the site, while there is ample evidence to show that Hindus worshipped at the premises of the mosque prior to 1857.
The apex court also observed that the destruction of Babri Masjid was a violation of law. The act of placing idols beneath the central dome of the mosque in 1949 was an act of “desecration”, observed the Court.
Expressing dissatisfaction over the verdict, the Sunni Wakf Board said that it would seek review of the judgment.
The verdict is out, but the implication of this judgment is far from over.
The downward spiral of this controversy began in 1986 when the locks of the Babri Masjid was opened. One should not forget it.