Faith and belief of Hindus that Babri Masjid constructed at Lord Ram's Janmasthan is proved: SC

The Supreme Court on Saturday held that the faith and belief of Hindus that 'Janmasthan' (birthplace) of Lord Ram is the site where Babri Masjid has been constructed is proved by documentary and oral evidence.

In a historic verdict which cleared the way for construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya, a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, without specifying the name, said one of the judges, while being in agreement with the reasons and directions, has recorded separate reasons on "whether the disputed structure is the birthplace of Lord Ram according to the faith and belief of the Hindu devotees?'

The judge concerned, in the reasons recorded separately, said all gazettes published by the government authority repeats the same statement that Babri mosque was constructed at the "Janmasthan" of Lord Ram.

"There is no evidence worth name led of the plaintiffs of Suit No.4 (Sunni Central Waqf Board and 9 Muslim residents of Ayodhya) to disprove the above statement and further, oral evidence as noticed above clearly supports the faith and belief of Hindus that Lord Ram was born at the place where Babri Mosque has been constructed. The conclusion that place of birth of Lord Ram is the three dome structure can, therefore, be reached," the judge said in the 116-page 'addendum'.

The 'addendum' referred to accounts of various historians, gazetteers, travelogues as well as verses from religious books, including Valmiki Ramayana, Skanda Purana and Rama Charita Manas.

The court said that in the period prior to 1528 AD, there were sufficient religious texts, which led the Hindus to believe the site of Ram Janmabhoomi to the birthplace of Lord Ram.

It said faith and belief of the Hindus, as depicted by the evidence on record, clearly establish that the Hindus belief that at the birthplace of Lord Ram, the mosque was constructed and three-dome structure is the birth place of the deity.

"The fact that Hindus were by constructing iron wall, dividing mosque premises, kept outside the three-dome structure cannot be said to alter their faith and belief regarding the birthplace of Lord Ram. The worship on the Ram Chabutra in the outer courtyard was symbolic worship of Lord Ram who was believed to be born in the premises," it said.

The court concluded that "faith and belief of Hindus since prior to construction of mosque and subsequent thereto has always been that Janmasthan of Lord Ram is the place where Babri Mosque has been constructed which faith and belief is proved by documentary and oral evidence".

The court said the statements noted in all gazetteers, published under authority of government, categorically and unanimously state that at Janmasthan of Lord Ram, Babri Mosque was constructed in 1528 by Emperor Babur.

It is true that statements recorded in Gazette is not conclusive evidence but presumption of correctness of statements recorded have to be raised subject to being disproved by leading appropriate evidences, it added.

The court said the sequence of events clearly indicate that faith and belief of Hindus was that birthplace of Lord Ram was in the three-dome structure Mosque which was constructed at the Janmasthan.

"It was only during the British period that grilled wall was constructed dividing the walled premises of the Mosque into inner courtyard and outer courtyard. Grilled iron wall was constructed to keep Hindus outside the grilled iron wall in the outer courtyard.

"In view of the construction of the iron wall, the worship and puja started in Ram Chabutra in the outer courtyard," it said.

It also referred to the report by ASI that clearly state that Babur's mosque at Ayodhya was built on the very spot where the old temple Janmasthan of Ramchandra was standing.

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in volume 'The Monumental Antiquities and Inscriptions in the NorthWestern Provinces and Oudh' in 1891 while describing Faizabad district, dealing city of Ayodhya noted that in place of important Hindu temple namely 'Janmasthan', a 'Mosque' was built during the reign of Babur which still bears his name.

It was further mentioned in the report that old temple must have been a very fine one, for many of its column have been utilised by the Musalmans in the construction of Babri Masjid, the court noted.