Ayodhya dispute: trial completed, the story of the court case

Faizan Musanna
6 min readOct 16, 2019

The 40-day marathon hearing on the Ram Temple-Babri Masjid dispute was completed on Wednesday and it is believed that the Supreme Court will pronounce its decision in November as Chief Justice Justice Ranjan Gogoi is retiring on November 17.

This will be a historic decision. There is a dispute over the ownership of the politically sensitive Ram temple and the Babri Masjid land.

A day before the last hearing, Justice Gogoi had said that the hearing would be completed by five o’clock on Wednesday evening, but on Wednesday, the hearing was announced to be completed an hour early.

Also, the court also said that if the arguments are left, the concerned parties can give in writing within three days.

A constitution bench of the Supreme-Court was hearing this matter.

The bench was presided over by the Chief Justice of India. After a long hearing that lasted for nearly 40 days, the court reserved its decision.

When the hearing of this case was completed on Wednesday, it was found that it was the second-longest-running hearing in the history of the Supreme Court of India.

A constitution bench of five judges headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi has been hearing the case continuously since August 6.

The hearing will be completed on October 17. It is likely that about a month after this, a significant decision may come in this matter.

Let’s understand what the whole the matter is and how this matter reached the Supreme Court of the country.

It is believed that the decision of the Supreme Court will come from November 4 to 15 on the Ayodhya land dispute.

The case is being heard daily by a five-member constitutional bench headed by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Ranjan Gogoi.

Justice Gogoi is retiring on 17 November 2019.

If the Chief Justice does not give a decision on the Ayodhya case by November 17, then the hearing of this case will be done afresh in front of a new bench.

Although this seems unlikely.

Former Additional Solicitor General and Supreme Court Senior Counsel Casey Kaushik told the BBC, “More likely the case will be decided between November 4 and 15 as Chief Justice Gogoi is retiring on November 17. Since November 17 It is Sunday, so it is expected that the much-awaited decision may come between November 4 and 15. “

This dispute is related to a piece of land in Ayodhya district of Uttar Pradesh.

According to the belief of Hindus, the place where the Babri Masjid was, is the birthplace of the Hindu god Ram.

In the case, it is to be decided whether there was a Hindu temple in the past which was given the shape of a mosque by breaking or changing the structure.

The Babri Masjid was demolished on 6 December 1992. After this, a case related to land ownership dispute was filed in the Allahabad High Court.

In this case, a three-member bench of the High Court on 30 September 2010 gave its decision on 2.77 acres of land.

According to the decision, one-third of the land will be given to Ram Lala, represented by the Hindu Mahasabha, the other one-third to the Sunni Waqf Board and the remaining one-third to the Nirmohi Arena.

Whose land belongs to which part and which party belongs to it, a five-member constitution bench will decide.

It may be that the Supreme Court will keep the verdict of Allahabad High Court and it may also be that it will distribute this land separately.

The five judges will read their decision one by one on that day. It is possible that Chief Justice will start this.

“There is a great possibility that there will be a huge amount of commotion in the court on the day of the verdict. Five judges will come to court number one and read the relevant part of their decision and then go to their chambers. After that everything will be history.”

In its September 2010 decision, the Allahabad High Court, in its judgment, ordered the disputed 2.77 acres of land to be shared equally between all three parties — Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and Ramlala Virajaman.

After this decision, Hindus hoped to build a temple at that place, while the Muslim side demanded that the mosque be rebuilt.

In 2011, Hindu and Muslim parties appealed against this decision to the Supreme Court.

The judicial constitutional bench has five judges, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi himself.

The remaining members are — Justice SA Bobde, Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice S Abdul Nazir.

Justice Nazir is the only Muslim in a five-member bench hearing the case.

Supreme Court lawyer Dr Surat Singh said, “Since all these judges are hearing this matter from the beginning i.e. on August 6, it is expected that these judges will give their decision.”

5 — What is the history of Ram temple and Babri Masjid?

More than a century has passed since the dispute between the Hindu and Muslim community over the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.

Hindus claim that the place of Babri Masjid was the birthplace of Ram and in the 16th century a Muslim invader demolished a Hindu temple and built a mosque there.

On the other hand, the Muslim side claims that on 22/23 December 1949, when some people took advantage of the darkness, they kept the idol of Ram in the mosque and till then they used to pray there.

Soon after this, the worship of Rama started there.

For the next four decades, Hindu and Muslim groups approached the court for control of this place and the right to pray here.

In the year 1992, this matter became hot again when a crowd gathered in Ayodhya on 6 December demolished the mosque.

In 2010, there were two Hindu judges in the three-member bench of the Allahabad High Court. The bench said that this building was built to lay the foundation of Mughal rule in India. It was not a mosque because it was built in place of a fallen temple ‘against the principles of Islam’.

However, the third Muslim judge gave a different verdict in this and he argued that no temple was demolished and the mosque was built on the ruins.

On 6 December 1992, activists of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and some leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party and its affiliated organizations organized a rally at the allegedly disputed site. One and a half lakh volunteers or car servants were involved in this.

The rally then turned violent and the mob overpowered the security forces and demolished the 16th-century Babri Masjid.

The then President Shankar Dayal Sharma imposed President’s rule in Uttar Pradesh and dissolved the assembly. The central government issued an ordinance in 1993 and took the disputed land under its control. The land under control is 67.7 acres.

Later, an inquiry was ordered into the incident, which found that 68 people were responsible in this case, in which several BJP and VHP leaders were also named. This case is still going on.

Senior BJP leaders Lal Krishna Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi, Kalyan Singh, Vinay Katiyar, Uma Bharti and many other leaders are currently being heard in the court of Special CBI Judge SK Yadav for their alleged role in the demolition of Babri Masjid.

“As per the order of the Supreme Court, the trial of the Babri Masjid demolition is going on in the sessions court of Lucknow which is to be completed by 30 April 2020.”

The Supreme Court has also ordered that the tenure of Special CBI Judge SK Yadav will be till April next year. Justice SK Yadav was to be retired on 30 September 2019.

According to official figures of the state government, 16 karsevaks were killed in the action taken during the demolition of Babri Masjid.

After this, around 2,000 people were killed in communal riots across the country.

Originally published at https://www.mubahisa.in.