Seventy years after the first court case was filed in the dispute post-Independence, the Supreme Court on Saturday delivered its verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit.
The Supreme Court, in a unanimous verdict on Saturday allotted the disputed land at Ayodhya for the construction of Ram temple. A 5-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi put an end to the more than a century old dispute.
Reading out the final judgement, the Supreme Court ordered allotment of alternative land to Muslims for setting up of a mosque.The Court said a suitable plot of land measuring 5 acres to be handed over to Sunni Waqf Board either by Central government or state government.
"Sunni Wakf Board at liberty to construct a mosque at the allotted land."
The Supreme Court had ordered the Central Government to formulate scheme within 3-4 months for setting up of trust and hand over the disputed site to it for construction of temple at the site and a suitable alternative plot of land measuring 5 acres at Ayodhya will be given to Sunni Wakf Board.
Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi read out that Babri Masjid was not constructed on vacant land. "There is adequate material in ASI report to conclude the following: Babri Masjid not constructed on vacant land. There was a structure underlying the disputed structure. The underlying structure was not an Islamic structure."
The Supreme Court said that there is evidence that Ram Chabutra, Sita Rasoi was worshipped by the Hindus before the British came.
"Evidence in the records shows that Hindus were in the possession of outer court of the disputed land."
Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said Hindus consider Ayodhya as birthplace of Lord Ram,they have religious sentiments,Muslims call it Babri mosque. Faith of Hindus that Lord Ram was born here is undisputed.
"Hindus have faith and belief that Lord Ram was born under the dome. Faith is a matter of individual belief," the CJI said.
He said that the titles can’t be decided on faith and belief but on the claims. "Historical accounts indicate the belief of Hindus that Ayodhya was the birthplace of Lord Ram," the top court added.
The Ayodha case was heard by a Constitution Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer.
The top court bench was 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.
The bench on October 16 had reserved the judgment after marathon hearing of 40 days. The apex court had on August 6 commenced day-to-day proceedings in the case as the mediation proceedings initiated to find the amicable resolution had failed.
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government has created temporary jails in every district while internet services are banned in some places to check spread of rumours through social media.
The Union Home Ministry is in regular correspondence with the state government and has provided 4,000 central paramilitary personnel for deployment in Uttar Pradesh, a senior official said.
Special vigil is being maintained on more than 670 people on social media and if need arises internet can be stopped to check spread of rumours, the official said.
Security has been tightened in Ayodhya and its adjoining areas while temporary prisons have been created in every district of the state.
The state government has identified 31 districts as sensitive while Section 144 under CrPC, prohibiting gathering of five or more persons, has already been imposed across Uttar Pradesh.
Special focus is being given to Ayodha, the district where the disputed structure is located, and different tiers of security zones have been created there, and each visitor is being scanned.