The Supreme Court in its historic judgment on Saturday called the judgment of the Allahabad High Court in Ayodhya land title dispute case, which had trifurcated 2.77 acres of the contested area between three parties in 2010, 'legally unsustainable'.
Passing a unanimous verdict on the case, a five-judge constitution bench of the apex court presided by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi ruled, "The three-way bifurcation by the High Court was legally unsustainable. The solution which commended itself to the High Court is not feasible. Dividing the land will not subserve the interest of either of the parties or secure a lasting sense of peace and tranquillity."
A 1045-page judgment came on a batch of petitions challenging the 2010 verdict of the Allahabad High Court.
The bench also comprising Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer directed the central government to form a trust to monitor the construction of a temple at the contested site and also directed that a five-acre plot to be allotted to Sunni Waqf Board for construction of a mosque.
The apex court said that no evidence was offered by the Muslim parties to indicate that they were in exclusive possession of the inner structure of the Mosque's dome. It, however, said that there is evidence to indicate that namaz was offered within its precincts.
The court added that there is "clear evidence" to establish that the Hindus worshiped in the outer courtyard. "As regards to the inner courtyard, there is evidence on a preponderance of probabilities to establish worship by the Hindus prior to the annexation of Oudh by the British in 1857," the judgment stated.
The bench said that justice would not prevail if it were to overlook the entitlement of the Muslims. It also observed that the damage to the Babri mosque in 1934, its desecration in 1949 leading to the ouster of the Muslims and the eventual destruction on 6th December 1992 constituted a serious violation of the rule of law.
"They have been deprived of the structure of the mosque through means which should not have been employed in a secular nation committed to the rule of law," the judgment stated.
The contentions of Nirmohi Akhara, which was one of the litigants in the case, of being a shebait (devotee) were also rejected by the court. It, however, asked the Central government to give it an appropriate role of management in the trust formed by the government to oversee the temple construction.
The legal battle between the two parties dates back to the British era. The first appeal was, however, filed in 1950.
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