The Supreme Court today ruled that the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid in Ayodhya will be given to Hindu parties with a trust to be formed by the Centre to monitor the construction of a temple,
but Muslim parties would be given alternative land to construct a mosque.
A total of 5 acres in Ayodhya should be given in three months to Muslims to build their mosque.
The five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice of India pronounced its verdict on Saturday.
It was a unanimous verdict on the decades-old Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid title dispute. "Wrong committed must be limited," it said, adding that the Central Government must frame a scheme.
The Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, with Justices Sharad Arvind Bobde, Ashok Bhushan, DY Chandrachud and S Abdul Nazeer accepted the report of the Archaeological Survey of India.
The report could not be dismissed and it said that Babri Masjid was not constructed on a vacant land.
Sri Ram Lalla Virajman was a juristic entity, but Sri Ram Janmasthana was not.
Shia Waqf Board’s claim on the Babri Masjid was unanimously dismissed by the Bench.
The suit filed by Nirmohi Akhara was barred by limitation.
The bench held, "Faith is a matter of individual believer. Once the court has the material that the faith is genuine, the court must not interfere and acknowledge it. Value of a secular Constitution lies in mutual deference."
"Faith and belief of Ayodhya being the birthplace of Ram was undisputed so is that of Muslims to worship at the mosque. Both communities were offering worship at the place," the court observed.
“It can't be said Muslims have been able to establish their exclusive possessory rights," it said.
For 325 years, from the construction of the mosque till 1857, Muslims have given no evidence of offering prayers at the disputed structure in exclusion of Hindus, the Bench observed.
Destruction of the mosque in 1992 was in breach of the Supreme Court order, the court observed.
The court had been hearing the case since August 6, on a day-to-day basis, (five days a week). This was after the mediation process conducted by a three-member mediation panel, headed by Justice (Retired) FMI Kalifullah, failed.
The Bench heard a batch of petitions challenging the judgment of the Allahabad High Court on September 30, 2010, trifurcating the disputed land in Ayodhya into three equal parts among Ram Lalla, Central Sunni Waqf Board, and Nirmohi Akhara.
It was a 2:1 judgment of Allahabad High Court that held Hindus and Muslims as joint title holders of the disputed land.