Supreme Court: The 5-judge bench headed by SA Bobde, CJ has dismissed a batch of petitions seeking review of its November 9 Ayodhya land dispute verdict, which cleared the way for construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site. The bench took these review pleas for consideration in-chamber, rejected them after finding no merits.
On November 9, the 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ, S.A. Bobde, Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer, JJ, sat down on a Saturday morning, otherwise a holiday, to finally put an end to the Ayodhya Title dispute and held that the disputed land is to be given to Trust for construction of Ram Mandir. In an effort to balance the interest of both the parties involved, the Court directed that a suitable plot of 5 acres must be granted to Sunni Waqf Board to set up a Mosque. The sensitivity of the issue was evident from the fact that the1045 pages long ‘unanimous’ verdict was silent on who wrote it. One of the 5-judges wrote a separate but concurring opinion on the issue whether disputed structure is the holy birthplace of Lord Ram as per the faith, belief and trust of the Hindus. The name of the judge was, however, not disclosed as well.
After noticing that the allotment of in respect of the possessory claim of the Hindus to the composite whole of the disputed property stands on a better footing than the evidence adduced by the Muslims, the Court gave the following directions:
- Central Government to formulate a scheme for he setting up of a trust with a Board of Trustees or any other appropriate body within 3 months. Nirmohi Akhara to be given adequate representation in the Trust.
- Possession of the inner and outer courtyards shall be handed over to the Board of Trustees of the Trust or to the body so constituted. Possession of the disputed property shall continue to vest in the statutory receiver under the Central Government till then.
- A suitable plot of land admeasuring 5 acres be allotted to the Sunni Central Waqf Board either by
- The Central Government out of the land acquired under the Ayodhya Act 1993; or
- The State Government at a suitable prominent place in Ayodhya.