Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ram Janmabhumi-Babri Masjid verdict delivered

Video: The Allahabad High Court has delivered its verdict on Ram Janmabhumi-Babri Masjid case

The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court has delivered its verdict that the land under the central dome of the demolished Babri Masjid is the Ram Janmasthan (place where Lord Ram was born).

The contentious Ram Janmabhumi-Babri Masjid title issue is 60 years old. On title suit the three-judge special bench comprising of Justice Sibghat Ullah Khan, Justice Sudhir Agrawal and Justice Dharam Veer Sharma ruled that the disputed 2.77 acres of land be divided into three parts; one-third for the party representing 'Ram Lala Virajman', one-third for Sunni Wakf Board and one-third to Nirmohi Akhara. But status quo is to be maintained for three months at the site in Ayodhya, the court has ruled.

Senior lawyer Ravi Shankar Prasad who represented Mahant Raghuvar Das said, "The honorable judges have dismissed Muslims suit and they have partly allowed suit number five by Hindus. One judge has partly and one has fully allowed. But the majority has decided that the land will be divided in three parts. The court has said in three months till then it is status quo."

Sunni Wakf Board lawyer Zafaryab Jilani said, "We don't accept the one-third formula. We accept the mosque as an intact body. But we believe there is no need for resentment as the matter will go to the Supreme Court." said. The Sunni Wakf Board said that it would challenge the verdict in the Supreme Court of India.

Hindu Mahasabha counsel P. L. Mishra said that that verdict had something for every one, adding, "Honourable Justice Agarwal has said that pooja has always been performed on the land where the Ram Lala exists. Lord Ram will continue to exist there. But, the Nirmohi Akhara has been using the premises as well. The Muslims have also been offering namaz there. Hence, the land will be divided into three and each of them will receive their part. The government-acquired land under Special Acquisition Act of 1993 will be divided and then, other infrastructure requirements for entry and exit of the three parts will be put up."

The area under the central dome of the three-domed structure where Lord Ram's idol exists belonged to Hindus, Justice Khan and Justice Agarwal said, while the third judge Justice Dharam Veer Sharma ruled that ‘the disputed site was the birth place of Lord Ram and that the disputed building constructed during the rule of Mughal emperor Babur was built against the tenets of Islam and did not have the character of the mosque’.

Deviating from the views of the other two judges, Justice Dharam Veer Sharma ruled that the disputed structure was constructed on the site of the old structure after demolition it. He added, "The Archaeological Survey of India has proved that the structure was a massive Hindu religious structure". According to Justice Sharma, the idols were placed in the middle dome of the disputed structure in the intervening night of December 22 and 23, 1949.

Justice Sharma also said, "It is established that the property in suit is the site of Janambhoomi of Ram Chandra Ji and Hindus in general had the right to worship 'Charan', 'Sita Rasoi', other idols and other object of worship existed upon the property in suit." He also said that it is established that Hindus have been worshipping the place in dispute as Janamsthan, i.e., a birth place as deity, and devotees were visiting it as a sacred place of pilgrimage from times immemorial.

Justice Sibghat Ullah Khan said, "All the three sets of parties, i.e. Muslims, Hindus and Nirmohi Akhara are declared joint title holders of the property/premises in dispute as described by letters A B C D E F in the map Plan-I prepared by Shri Shiv Shankar Lal, Pleader/Commissioner appointed by court in Suit No. 1 to the extent of 1/3rd share each for using and managing the same for worshipping. A preliminary decree to this effect is passed." However, Justice Khan observed that it is further declared that the portion below the central dome where at present the idol is kept in makeshift temple will be allotted to Hindus in final decree.

Further Justice Khan observed that the disputed structure was constructed as a mosque by or under the orders of Babar but it is not proved by direct evidence that the premises in dispute including constructed portion belonged to Babar or the person who built it.

Justice Khan also observed that no temple was demolished for constructing the mosque as it was built over the ruins of a temple which was lying there for a very long time.

In his findings on issues, Justice Agarwal said the parties of the Muslim side have failed to prove that the property in dispute was constructed by Babar in 1528 AD.

(With inputs from various news reports)

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