CASE :-M SIDDIQ(D) THR LRS V. MAHANT SURESH DAS &ORS (POPULARLY KNOWN AS AYODHYA RAM MANDIR CASE)

CITATION- CIVIL APPEAL NO. 10866-10867 OF 2010

COURT- SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

DECIDED- 9TH NOVEMBER, 2019

APPEALED FROM- ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT

JUDGES – Ranjan Gogoi (CJI), DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan, S. Abdul Nazeer, Sharad Arvind Bobde.

 INTRODUCTION

The case of M Siddiq (D) Thr V. Mahanth Suresh Das & Ors CIVIL APPEAL NO. 10866-10867 OF 2010. Which was popularly known as “Ayodhya Ram Mandir” dispute. It was the longest case which actually prolonged 500 years and have witnessed every prime minister of  Independent India. The case revolves around the disputed land of 2.77 acre which, hindus believed it as birth place of Lord Rama and  History of Babri masjid by Muslims. Where the final verdict by Supreme court was given on 9th November 2019. It was the first civil dispute which is dealt and Judged by a Constitutional Bench rather than a two Judged Bench. It was also a verdict  which was readout loud in the open court by CJI . It was a  929- page verdict where no Author name was carried.

FACTS OF THE CASE

In 1528, the Babri Masjid was built by Babur which is believed that it was constructed after demolishing the Ram Mandir by local people over there and due to the belief first riot took place between Hindus and Muslims  from 1853 to 1859. To stop such riots, British Government has divided the area into two different portions where the inside portion is given to Muslims and the outside portion was given to Hindus by arranging a fence over the whole area, which continued for 90 years. After that  in 1885 this matter went into the eyes of law when Mahanth Raghubir Das demands for building of the roof for the outer area for worship.

After Independence, recitation of Ramcharitmanas was organized by Digvijay Nath for  a 9 day continued period who joined ABRM in 1949, which led the Hindu activists to  broke into the mosque and place the idols of  Lord Rama and Sita. They  also  framed that  idols got into mosque with divine powers. This led to  tensed situation that the whole area was put a ban and closed  entry’s  by Government  to control the situations. Neither Hindus nor Muslims were allowed to enter, which led for filing many civil cases against the Governmental Ban.

In 1950, Mahanth Ram Chandradas filed a case on behalf of Hindus for their worshiping Rights. The state government  under section 145 of CrPC  applied its right to control and allowed only  Hindus  to perform prayers at the site, the mosque had been converted into a defacto temple. 

In 1959 Nirmohi Akara filed a case saying that the possession of that area should be handed to them. After two years of this in response to the above cases filed Sunni Waqf Board also filed a case saying that the ownership of that place (Babri Masjid) should be given to them in 1961.

Different Religious preparations were began ,one of which is Vishwa Hindu Parishad(VHP),a committee formed for building of ram mandir in response to the cases filed against governmental ban.  When Faizabad court allowed Hindus to worship on that place, led  anger in Muslims and formed a committee for themselves named as Babri Masjid action committee in year 1986.

In 1989, another case was filed named as “Ram Lalla Virajman”,  for accessing  its ownership rights and whole possession of the land to them.

POLITICAL INTERFERENCE 

Like British government, Kalyan Singh government of Uttarpradesh  in 1991  took the control of land  to stop the continuous riots which were the outcome of rath yatra started  by Minister Lal Krishna Advani in September 1990.  Advani was arrested in Bihar due to the  situation raised by him he was also  the senior leader of BJP, which   led them to took back their support from VP Singh government. 

Demolishing of Babri Masjid

Thousands of Kar Sevak moved to Ayodhya and demolished Babri Masjid and built a temporary Ram mandir at the same place which affected India at a wide range where 2000 people were killed in the riots in year 1992.  Liberhan committee was authorized to look in the  matter of masjid brokedown in the same year.

ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT

In April 2002 for deciding the ownership of the dispute land a three judged bench constituted with Justice Sudhir Agarwal, Justice Sukhan and Justice D V Sharma for hearing was appointed. They says to Archaeology department to  conduct a survey and submit the report.

As per ASI report, there was a mandir in 12th century and masjid on the same area in 1528. After considering all the reports and evidences Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court delivered a historic judgement on 30th September 2010.which divided the whole disputed area into 3 parts. 1/3 was given to Ram Lalla Virajman,1/3 to Nirmohi Akhara, and remaining 1/3 to Sunni Waqf Board. Which led to dissatisfaction of the parties and appealed to supreme court.

A Stay has been put by Supreme Court on the decision of Allahabad HC on 9 may 2011. Later  Subramanian swamy  in 2016 filed a case in SC for Nirman of Ram Mandir. The CJI of SC Justice Khehar advised to solve this dispute outside of court. Till 2017 December, there were 32 appeals in SC against Allahabad Court decision. 

ISSUES RAISED

  • The major issue involved in the case was about the possession of land , where Hindus believed it to be the  Lord Rama’s Birth place  and by Muslims argument it was  historical  Mosque  built by 1st Mughal Emperor.
  • The another conflicting issue was, whether the mosque built by Babur was constructed after demolishing the Hindu temple or not.
  • Whether, the division of Allahabad  High court is a sustainable decision.

ARGUMENTS BY PARTIES

NIRMOHI AKHARA:-He asked for the possession of inner courtyard divided in 1934 should be given to them. The authorization for managing  the premises once the temple is built is to be given to him  and he also prayed the court to provide Muslims  a separate land to build a mosque apart the area in conflict.

SUNNI WAQF BOARD:-   *They argued that there was a masjid on the  disputed area in  1992 6th December and this fact should only be considered. 

*On 1949 the Act  of placing Ram Murthy in the middle of night was illegal .

*They also said that Hindus worshiping in Ram chabutra was not a problem as it was the birth place of Lord Rama, but Muslims are only persons to whom the inner courtyard belongs to , so  the same should be allotted.

RAM LALLA VIRAJMAN:- 

*There arguments stressed ASI’s report stating that the facts of  slabs and pillars of Babri masjid  are  with motives and history of Hindu religion , which indicate the presence of a Ram Mandir  in before years.

* That exclusive possession by Muslims or Sunni Waqf Board upon the land is not attained since then when Ram Murthy was placed in 1949.

*They also pleaded that no part of the disputed land should be given to Nirmohi Akhara, or Muslim parties but only to be allot to Ram Lalla. Because of the existence of Ram Mandir over there from beginning  before the masjid built over there. 

SHIA WAQF BOARD:- The construction of Ram temple at the site where the mosque stood earlier was not a problem but in return they demanded the government to provide alternative site for mosque construction.

JUDGEMENT

Supreme Court started its hearing from January 2019 followed by setting up of a mediation panel regulated by the court in march, which provided its final report in may. After that  final hearing goes on from 6thAugust to 16th October i.e., 40 days and its final verdict was delivered on 9th  November 2019. 

Supreme court given its final verdict consisting of five Judged Bench with Justice Shard Arvind Bobde, Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice  D. Y. Chandrachud, Justice Abdul Nazeer and CJI Justice Ranjan Gogoi. The apex bench has decided unanimously the  entire 2.77acre land goes to Ram Lalla Virajman deity  and additionally  five acre of land is to be allotted by the central government and Uttarpradesh government  to Sunni Waqf Board.

Here are the 8 major points in the Judgement :-

1.CJI Ranjan Gogoi stated that the controversial land is owned by Government on basis of the tax records. He further ordered that the  entire land  for purpose of building a temple should be given to trust. 

2. He also authorized to allot  an extra 5 acre of land to Sunni Waqf Council for the purpose of building a mosque.

3. SC dismissed the petition of Nirmohi Akhara who plead for the custody of disputed land.

4. SC of India  mandated a trust  to  be established   by union government within 3 months for the construction of ram mandir.

5. The court determine that there is no Islamic edifice under the site of Ayodhya  but where the ASI was also unable to establish whether the mosque has been built demolishing the temple.

6. SC decided that it was an unlawful act to demolish the Babri Masjid Mosque in 1992 by Hindus.

7. SC also stated that Waqf Central Sunni Counsil of UP failed to prove its case.

8. SC also said that the decision of Allahabad HC of diving into 3 parts was unsustainable decision.

RATIONALE OF THE CASE

After hearing the arguments SC has decided the Title of the land, taking into account only the  proper evidences and legal principles that are presented before bench , and not on discussions of the people. Evidences clearly shows that  though masjid  was established there, Hindu’s  always want to protect their right to worship and with divine serenity  they  has never stopped to worship  at the land.

The case majorly  relied  on historical facts and figures and by considering the probabilities it is clear upon Hindus right to worship in the outer courtyard have completely established their control in 1857.

Court also concluded that Muslim should get compensation since the masjid was demolished in 1992 and there rights for worshiping got deprived in year 1949 when idols of deity Rama established inside masjid.

The SC by using its constitutional power, Article 142 rectified all its mistakes and delivered a final decision.

CONCLUSION

This case marked as an longest case with 500 year time period witnessing every prime minister right from “Jawaharlal Nehru to Narendra Modi” after independence,  which has finally given  its verdict in 2019 by a five Judged Bench and it is also a notable point that this was the second longest hearing case after Keshavanand Bharati case of 1973(68 days),Despite all controversies it  that can be seen as a complete secularism win. As said by our late prime Minister Mr.  Jawaharlal Nehru our country was exactly on point of ‘unity in diversity. 

The construction of ram mandir in Ayodhya has already been started . According to me, this case is the turning point in India’s history where it fullfills the dream of many Hindus.  During this dispute we can witness the rise and fall of empires and civilization.

SHARVANI MADUGULA

4TH YEAR (B.COM LL.B)

Dr. B.R. AMBEDKAR GLOBAL LAW INSTITUTE TIRUPATI, A.P

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1.Indian const.art.142

2.Civil Appeal no.10866-10867 of 2010.

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5.Satya prasoon, Timeline of key Events in the Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir controversy ,S C O, 22 Oct 2018, https://www.scobserver.in/journal/timeline-key-events-in-the-babri-masjid-ram-mandir-controversy/, 17/4/2024.

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