Friday, October 1, 2010

Allahabad High Court verdict on Ayodhya title suits out


The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has dismissed the petition of the Sunni Waqf Board and said that the disputed site was the birth of Lord Ram and holds immense importance for Hindus. Bringing to an end the suspense over the 60-year-old Ramjanmbhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit case, the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Thursday pronounced its verdict. The 2.7 acre area in Ayodhya has been divided into three parts. One area would go to the Nirmohi Akhara, one to Hindus and third to Muslims’ Waqf Board. Sixty years after it first went to court, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has pronounced judgment in the Ayodhya title suit. The three-judge bench has ruled in a majority judgement 2:1, that one-third part of the disputed land will go to the Sunni Waqf Board, one-third to the Nirmohi Akhara and one-third to the party for 'Ram Lalla'. The High Court judgment says the portion below the central dome under which the idols of Ram and other Gods are placed belongs to would be allotted to Hindus. The Nirmohi Akhara would get the Ram Chabutra and Sita Rasoi. The inner courtyard belongs to both communities, it says. The judgement provides that division of the land should begin in three months. The judgement observes that the building was constructed after demolishing a temple and that the Ramjanmbhoomi was not Waqf land. It also observes that the building was not used by Muslims to offer prayers. The court dismissed the suit filed by the Sunni Waqf Board. After judgement was pronounced a little after 4 pm, litigants emerged from the courtroom with copies and there was chaos outside the Lucknow court. The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court comprising Justice S U Khan, Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Justice D V Sharma, delivered the judgement. The parties have three months to appeal against the verdict.
The dispute before the court was whether the 2.7 acres of disputed land on which the Babri Masjid stood before it was demolished on December 6, 1992, belongs to the Sunni Central Waqf Board or to the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha. It has been a protracted legal battle, and people across the country have spoken in one voice on the need to maintain peace and harmony irrespective of the verdict. The hearing on the issue before the court started in early this year and the verdict came after hearing the versions of several hundred witness.
The High Court premises resembled a virtually impregnable fortress as the area was declared a no-access zone. India had been awaiting its Ayodhya moment since the last 18 years now, after the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992 that placed the country on a communal volcano which has periodically erupted from time to time. The judgment came after the last hurdle in its pronouncement was cleared by the Supreme Court Tuesday when it dismissed the petition by a retired bureaucrat Ramesh Chandra Tripathi for deferment of the keenly-awaited verdict. The Ayodhya dispute, which has been an emotive issue for decades and mired in a slew of legal suits involving Hindu and Muslim religious groups, dates back to the year 1528 when a mosque was built on the site by Mughal emperor Babar, which Hindus claim to be a birth place of Lord Ram and believe to be the spot where a Hindu temple existed since 11th Century.


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