The Supreme Court Saturday cleared the way for the construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site at Ayodhya and directed the Centre to allot a 5-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a mosque after examining the "wealth of material" which emerged during the course of trial in the Allahabad High Court.
A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi perused 533 documentary exhibits, including religious texts, travelogues, archaeological excavation reports, photographs of the site prior to demolition of the mosque and details of artifacts found at the disputed site.
Apart from that, the exhibits also included gazetteers and translations of inscriptions on pillars.
The bench, also comprising Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer, went through the oral evidence of over 88 witnesses, including historians, experts on religious matters and archaeologists.
The apex court also examined the statement of the parties who had filed the four suits seeking ownership of the site and permission to offer prayers there.
The first suit was filed on January 16, 1950, by a Hindu devotee -- Gopal Singh Visharad alleging he was being prevented by government officials from entering the inner courtyard to worship.
The second suit was filed on December 5, 1950 by Paramhans Ramchandra Das seeking similar reliefs as Visharad. However, it was withdrawn on September 18 1990.
Thereafter, on December 17, 1959, a third suit was filed by the Nirmohi Akhara claiming that its absolute right of managing the affairs of the site and the temple had been impacted by the magistrate's order and sought that the management and charge of the temple and site be handed over to it.
Subsequently, the Sunni Central Waqf Board and nine Muslim residents of Ayodhya filed a suit on December 18, 1961, seeking a declaration that the entire disputed site of the Babri Masjid was a public mosque, the place be handed over to them and and the idols be removed.
The fifth suit was filed on July 1, 1989, by the deity and the birth-place, through a next friend, for a declaration of title to the disputed premises and to restrain anyone from interfering with or raising any objection to the construction of a temple there.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)