INDIA’S MYSTERIOUS CASE: AYODHYA VERDICT (DISPUTE OF RAM MANDIR AND BABRI-MASJID)

India is one of the most diverse nations in terms of religion, it is also the birthplace of 4 major religions Jainism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. Several other small religions are also co-existing in Indian society. Religion diversity is a feature of Indian Social Culture which creates a dispute between different religious people on a large scale since many years ago. India is very well known for its Hindu and Muslim religious disputes, like the major dispute of Ram Janmabhoomi between the Hindu and Muslim communities.
Ram Janmabhoomi, commonly known as Lord Ram birthplace, it was believed that Lord Ram was the avatar of the Hindu Goddess Lord Vishnu. Ram Janmbhoomi is located on the bank of the river Sarayu, which is also known as Ayodhya: Ram ki Nagri. 

Reason of Dispute on Ram Janmabhoomi- Babri Masjid Land

In the period of Mughal Emperor Babur, Mosque named Babri Masjid was built on the birthplace of Lord Rama, which was built on the order of Mughal Emperor Babur. Babur was the founder of the Mughal Dynasty and also the first emperor of the Mughal Dynasty in the Indian Sub-Continent. It was believed that one of his Commander of Mughal Emperor Babur Mir Baqi, built the Babri Masjid.
         The belief among the sections of the Hindus that the Babri Masjid was built in Ayodhya after demolishing a Lord Ramas Temple and constructed a Mosque a Babri Masjid, in its place, this creates disputes in between Hindu and Muslim community, and its also plays a vital role in Social, Political, Religion Discussion on all over the country, on Ram Janmabhoomi History and Birthplace.
                          According to this belief, there are some people who opposed this and state that there is no evidence for the spot being the birthplace of Lord Rama. 
The worship place has been separated in two places like Muslims got the place for worship inside the structure, while Hindu got outside the courtyard.
The year 1949 can be called a year of taking action for the Hindu community, they find a various idol of Lord Rama inside the Mosque which signifies the birthplace of Lord Ram, the Hindu community start worshipping inside the Mosque and claimed for the Ram Janambhoomi. It took place a form of frightful riots. Due to this government had imposed a ban on Babri Masjid because of dispute.

The Struggle for Cultural Identity

The first plea was filed by Mahant Raghubir Das in Faizabad District for seeking permission to build a canopy outside the structure of the disputes region, but the court rejects this plea. According to this plea the next petition was filed by Gopal Visharad the first person who filed a petition after Independent India in 1950 for the worship of Lord Ram against five Muslims. After Gopal Visharad Plea the next petition was filed by Pramhans Ramchandra Das for the continuation of worshipping god in the inner courtyard.
In accordance with all these pleas, some people also filed a plea on possession of the site, with respect to this in 1992, In 1991, the Kalyan Singh Government take control of the whole dispute place, thousands of “Hindu Kar Sevak” demolished the Babri-Masjid as ordered by Kalyan Singh Government.
Sunni Central Waqf Board also filed a suit for the removal of praying idols and handling the possession of the property to the Mosque.

The court held that the Hindu community cannot be represented by a few persons, so it impleads to various big Hindu Communities like Hindu Maha Sabha, Arya Samaj, and Sanathan Dharma as a defendant representing the Hindu Community for possession of the Ram Janambhumi place.
In 1989, the Allahabad High Court Judge Deoki Nanadan Agarwal again filed an application for prayer that the whole place for the new Lord Ram Temple, due to this Shia Waqf Board also filed a case as a defendant against Deoki Nandan. 

Congress Proposal for Disputed Region, the Year 1990

The struggle of cultural identity now took a form of riots, in 1990, the situation became very critical when Lal Krishna Advani starts rath yatra from Somnath (Gujarat) to Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh). 
In the year 1992, the Congress government make a proposal to solve the problem disputed place, congress government advice to build Hindu Temple i.e. Ram Mandir, Masjid i.e. Babri-Masjid along-with Museum and Library as a tourist place. But this proposal was not accepted by the public.

Big Step has taken by BJP government on Disputed Region, the Year 2002

In 2002, the BJP government came into the centre with great PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The main objective of BJP government and Atal Bihari Vajpayee is to resolve the disputes arose between Hindu and Muslim community, for this PM Atal Vajpayee Jii started a program called Ayodhya Vibhag for solving the dispute.
The petition file/ case was withdrawn from Faizabad court and transferred to the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court. In April 2002 Allahabad High Court created a 3 Judges bench for investigating the case. The court ordered the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to investigate the reality and conduct a depth study of the disputed region of Ayodhya disputed place and ordered to submit them after investigation.
As per the ASI report, in the 12th century, there was a Temple on the disputed region land and a Masjid was created in the 15th century. The problem ASI was the middle period of the 12th to 15th century, it was cleared by the ASI report that there is no any evidence of demolishing the Mandir and constructed there Masjid at that place, the ASI also made a report on Public Talks, according to public Masjid was built by demolishing the Mandir.

Judgment was given by Allahabad High Court,2010

On September 30, 2010, the 3 bench Judges of the Allahabad High Court, comprising Justice S.U. Khan, Justice Sudhir Agarwal, and Justice D.V. Sharma delivered the much-awaited judgment. The court decided the disputed land equally between the three major parties concerned i.e. the Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara, and Ram Lalla Virajman. The Allahabad Court with a 2:1 majority decided the disputed area equally, Ram Murti was the part allotted to Ram Lalla Virajman, Sita Rasoi, Ram Chabootra was allotted to Nirmohi Akhara, and the remaining third part was allotted to Sunni Waqf Board. However, none of the three parties was satisfied with this verdict.

The Dispute has come across to the Supreme Court

On May 9, 2011, the Supreme Court intervene in this disputed region, all the parties filed an appeal against the High Court order. Later, the Apex Court put to hold the decision of Allahabad High Court.
In Feb 2016, Subramanyam Swami filed a case in Supreme Court to finalize this case. By December 2017 around 32 appeals reach Supreme Court against the Allahabad High Court decision. In Jan 2019, the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi constitute a five Judges bench including himself to investigate and solve that case.
After that Supreme Court asked the parties to submit Moulding of Relief, the demand of 3 parties was, Nirmohi Akhara demanded the Inner Courtyard of the site of the dispute, Sunni Waqf Board demanded inner courtyard and reconstruction of Babri-Masjid, Ram Lalla Virajman demanded the whole possession of the disputed site.

Historical Day for Hindu-Muslim Community

November 9, 2019: 5 Judges bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising 4 other Chief Justice, they are Justice D.Y. Chandrachud Justice S.A. Bobde, Justice S. Abdul Nazir and Justice Ashok Bushan deliver a cleared much-awaited decision in this disputed case. The Supreme Court in his final decision concludes that 2.7 Acre of land will be allotted to Ram Lalla Virajman for the construction of Ram Mandir, the bench ordered to Union Government to constitute a trust to oversee the construction of the Ram Mandir.
The Supreme Court in his unanimous verdict said that the report by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) provided evidence that the Babri-Masjid was constructed on a structure whose architecture was Non-Islamic. The court states that all the given evidence showed that the disputed land should be given to Hindus for the construction of Ram Mandir. The bench also gives judgment that Muslim Parties including Sunni Waqf Board failed to establish the exclusive possession of the disputed land.

As per the decision given by the court, 5 Acres of land were also allotted to the Sunni Waqf Board for the construction of a Mosque in the district of Ayodhya. However, the court added that the demolition of Babri-Masjid in the year 1992 was against the rule of law. 

The Ayodhya Verdict case has one of the big disputed cases in India which has been solved by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and his 4 Judges bench in November 2019, it was a memorable day in Indian history for the Hindu-Muslim Community. Moreover, it was a unanimous judgment passed by the Chief Justice and his 4 Judges bench. Though both of the community’s people were happy about this judgment, the P.M. Narendra Modi also announced the budget 500 crores for the development of the district Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh state.

Author:

Ritik Agrawal
Institute of Law, Jiwaji University