In a unanimous verdict, a five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Saturday gave the ownership of the disputed 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya to a group representing Hindus, marking another chapter in the centuries-old religious dispute that has been one of the country’s most politically sensitive issues.
Even as the Bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, delivered its verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi–Babri Masjid land dispute, states across the country had stepped up security and were closely monitoring the social media.
Here are the key points from the court judgment:
Supreme Court gives the disputed 2.77 acres to the Ram Janmabhoomi trust. It orders that an alternative piece of land, which lies in a "suitable" and "prominent" place in Ayodhya be given to the Muslims to build a mosque.
Court asks government to frame a plan within three months and set up a trust for construction of a temple in Ayodhya.
Supreme Court asks Central and UP governments to allot 5 acres to Muslims at a prominent place for a building mosque in Ayodhya.
Court says the Muslim side in the dispute has been unable to prove its right to the disputed property. It says the underlying structure below the disputed site at Ayodhya was not an Islamic structure, but the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has not established whether a temple was demolished to build a mosque.
The court says the extensive nature of Hindus worshipping at outer courtyard at the disputed site has been there. Evidence suggests the Muslims offered Friday prayers at mosque, indicating they had not lost possession of the site. It said that despite obstruction caused in offering prayers at mosque, the evidences suggest that there was no abandonment in offering prayers.
Supreme Court says the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992 was violation of law. Thousands of Hindu activists tore down the mosque that year, leading to riots in many parts of the country.
The court says the Allahabad High Court's decision in 2010 to give share in the land to Sunni Wakf Board and Nirmohi Akhara—Muslim and Hindu groups--even after dismissing their suits "defies logic". It says the entire land has to be considered as a whole, reports The Indian Express.
The Supreme Court says the faith and belief of Hindus that Ram was born in Ayodhya is "indisputable". It says, "Faith is a matter of individual believer... No evidence has come on record to discount the belief of Hindus in the place."
Chief Justice Gogoi says five judges of the constitution bench are pronouncing a unanimous judgment.
(With inputs from PTI)