Who gets the ownership of the disputed 2.77 acres of land? The Supreme Court of India will decide today. A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi will pronounce the verdict at 10:30 am today. The top court bench is considering petitions against a 2010 Allahabad High Court judgement that ordered the disputed land be divided equally between the Nirmohi Akhara, a Hindu denomination, the Sunni Central Waqf Board and representatives of Ram Lalla, the child deity.
MAIN LITIGANTS IN AYODHYA TITLE SUIT: HINDU SIDE
Sadhus of the religious denomination Nirmohi Akhara belong to the Ramanandi Bairagi sect. It was in December 1959 that the Nirmohi Akhara moved the Faizabad civil court claiming the ownership of the Babri Masjid structure. The Nirmohi Akhara had said it won't contest the Lord's plea if his lawyers don't dispute their rights to maintain and manage it.
RAM LALLA VIRAJMAN
Ram Lalla Virajman - the child deity - is represented by Trilok Nath Pandey, a member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). He is legally called "next friend."
Devaki Nandan Agarwal, a retired judge of Allahabad High Court, was the first “next friend”. She had filed a suit in 1989 claiming to represent Ram Lalla Virajman and the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi. After Devaki Nandan Agarwal's death in 2002, Trilok Nath Pandey of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad became the next friend.
ALL INDIA HINDU MAHASABHA
It was in December 2010 when the Hindu Mahasabha moved the Supreme Court to challenge the Allahabad High Court's September order. The Hindu Mahasabha had sought the verdict's partial annulment. It wanted endorsement of the minority judgment that ruled in favour of handing over the entire land to Hindu parties.
RAM JANMABHOOMI NYAS
Nyas, the supreme body of saints, has been spearheading the Ram Mandir movement since 1990s. It is backed by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas is a trust that was formed by VHP in January 1993 soon after the Babri Masjid's demolition in December 1992 with the aim of promoting and overseeing the construction of the Ram Temple.
MAIN LITIGANTS IN AYODHYA TITLE SUIT: MUSLIM SIDE
UTTAR PRADESH SUNNI CENTRAL WAQF BOARD
On February 1, 1961, the Sunni Waqf Board filed a suit in the Faizabad civil court against three pending Hindu cases. The Sunni Waqf Board, leading the Muslim side in the Supreme Court, has been claiming the possession of the mosque.
Mohd Iqbal Ansari
Iqbal Ansari is also one of the litigants in the case. He is an independent litigant. Iqbal Ansari is the son of Mohammad Hashim Ansari, one of the oldest litigants in the Ayodhya title dispute case. Hashim Ansari passed away in 2016, following which his son Iqbal Ansari took over as the petitioner in the Supreme Court. Hashim Ansari, a tailor by profession, used to live a few metres from the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.
M Siddiq filed a petition on behalf of the Jamiat-ul Ulema-i Hind, Uttar Pradesh. He was the general secretary of Jamiat-ul Ulema-i Hind, Uttar Pradesh. The Jamiat's maulana Ashhad Rashidi became the petitioner after Siddiq died.
Central Shia Waqf Board
In 1946, a trial court had ruled that the Babri Masjid was a Sunni property. The Central Shia Waqf Board then claimed it was Mughal emperor Babur's Shia commander Mir Baqo, who had built the mosque and not Babar, who was a Sunni. In 2017, the Shia Waqf Board moved the Supreme Court for ownership challenging the 1946 decree in a Special Leave Petition.