Ayodhya Judgement: The Real Struggle Behind the Verdict

The Supreme Court decided the Ayodhya case on 9th September 2019 but still many people are unaware of the facts and the reasons behind the case. So, on 5th August 2020 when the foundation stone for the construction of the grand Ram Temple was laid down, I decided to make this information available to the people in an understandable language.

After laying down the foundation stone for Ram Temple by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, A century-long dispute stretching back to more than 400 years timeline in Ayodhya Case came to an end. The day comes after the Supreme Court, in November 2019, passed a landmark judgment and ordered to hand over the disputed land spread over 2.7 acres to the trust formed by the government in order to monitor the construction of Ram Mandir at the site. It was done by the Supreme Court by invoking its notable power to do “complete justice” under Article142 of the constitution in order to reimburse the damages caused by the installation and construction of Mosque and further it\’s demolition in 1992. The court also ordered to allot another 5-acre piece of plot to the Sunni Wakf Board in Ayodhya itself for building a new mosque there. 

Though The Bhoomi Pujan performed at Shri Ram janmabhoomi in Ayodhya has typically evoked oppositely inverse responses from different sides, it is said to be a win-win situation for both sides be it Hindu or Muslim. As the Supreme Court pointed out that the land is given to the Sunni Wakf Board in order to reimburse with the illegal demolition of the mosque which was completely destroyed on 6 December 1992 it firmly adds that the Muslims were deprived to worship there for so long which outlays the basic idea behind justice i.e. wrong committed by another party must be compensated by way of reimbursement. Justice would not be insured if the court disregards the entitlement of Muslims who’ve been worshiping there earlier. The decision reckoned on proof of possession of the contested land. “Hindu’s worship at Ramchabutra, Sita Rasoi and at various religious spots clearly showed their selective and unobstructed ownership of the external yard” it said. The Apex Court likewise stated that the namaz was not offered consistently in the inward area before 1857. Conversely, evidence focuses on continuous worship by the Hindus. In this way, it discovered Ram Lalla as having a claim to possession than Sunni Waqf Board.  

Historical Timelines in the Ayodhya Case

Before the colonial rule

Before the arrival of Britishers in India, In 1528: Babri Masjid was built by Mir Baqi, commander of Mughal emperor Babur and it is said to be constructed from the debris of the then religious structure there.

Here’s when the Hindus contended that Lord Ram was born at a spot on which later the central dome of the mosque was built:

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Who took the matter to the court and What was the reasoning behind the same?

The matter was taken to the court by Mahant Raghubar Dass in the year 1885 for permission to build a temple on the Ram chabutra which was allotted to them by the Britishers and was situated outside the mosque. The judge at the Faizabad High Court dismissed the plea filed by him.

 Further, the dispute did not go to the courts for many years and the disputed land was possessed by the Muslims for a time being. Although on December 22-23, 1949 a large crowd of Hindu gathering entered the premises at night and planted the idols of Lord Rama and Lakshman at the center of the dome. After a week or so, the  Faizabad district court declared Babri Masjid a “disputed property” and ordered to maintain a status quo which resulted in a restriction to enter for Muslims and permission for darshan from a side gate to the Hindus, and four pujaris were allowed to access the idols.

On January 16, 1950, Gopal Singh Visharad one of the members of the Hindu Maha Sabha became the first person to file a suit in independent India in the said case. He contended that the Hindus have a right to worship at the birthplace of Lord Rama and the Muslims to be barred to enter the place as it would be against their rights. The court passed an interim order in his favor against the removal of the idols. In December 1961, Muslim parties manifested themselves when the Sunni Wakf Board of U.P. filed a suit, arguing that the mosque was in possession for over 400 years by the wakf and seeking that the land, including the mosque and a public Muslim graveyard to be handed over to it.

This lead to the filling of another suit by Deoki Nandan Agrawal referring to himself as a “sakha” in the name of ‘Ram Lalla’ himself and he became a party to the suit. 

Demolition and Thereafter

In order to garner support from the people to build a Ram temple in Ayodhya, L.K. Advani, the then president of BJP, conducted rallies across India in 1990. In the same year, there was partial damage to the structure of Babri masjid by the members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. After two years of this tragic event, the disputed structure was brought down by the Karsevaks and at the center of the dome, an Idol of Lord Ram was placed. In order to probe this matter, a  Liberhan commission was appointed by the High court to find out the sequence of actions that led to the demolition of Babri Masjid. However, the report was submitted after 17 years i.e.a decade and a half or so in the year 2009. The report suggested that –

“Cadres of the RSS, Bajrang Dal, VHP, BJP, and Shiv Sena along with their leaders were present at the spot. They either actively or passively supported the demolition.”

So in this way, the report suggested that RSS was chief the architect behind the demolition of Masjid and recorded the statements of senior BJP leaders L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, and Kalyan Singh who was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh at that time. Though the case is still pending and is not related to the dispute of land the said engagement by a political party was criticized by many.

In the year 2002, Allahabad HC orders the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to find out if there was evidence of a Hindu temple beneath the Mosque structure. In the same year, the court also started the hearing of the case to find out the real owner of the disputed site. The ASI was able to find out various evidence and remains from the ancient period of time which were enough to prove authenticity.

After many delays in the hearing of the case of the disputed land and a number of cases being filled by the people from both sides in Sep 2010, the Allahabad HC in a 2:1 majority ruled a three-way division of disputed the area among the parties- Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara, and Ram Lalla. The land was to be divided into 3 parts and divided equally among the parties. However, all the parties approached SC and got the orders stayed.

The Supreme Court decides to start the final hearing of the case on August 17, 2017, and after the reconstitution of a five-member Bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan, and SA Nazeer., the court decides to form a 3-member panel in order to mediate the case. The said panel was headed by FMI Kallifulla, a former SC judge with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and lawyer Sriram Panchu. Further, the panel got four weeks to reach an understanding. After the submission of the report drafted by the panel, the supreme court started the day-to-day hearing of the case. As the case has been already delayed the Supreme court fixed the deadline so as to provide justice to the disputed land And finally after 40 days of daily hearing the Supreme Court read out its much-awaited verdict on the Ayodhya Land Dispute.

As anticipated, the Bhoomi Pujan performed by our Prime minister has marked the beginning of a new debate and utterly obverse reactions from those sides who recognize this act to be “Non-Secular”.Also, many of them are questioning the validity of the judgment passed by the Supreme Court and the legal efficacy of constructing the same in Ayodhya. For answering these set of questions one has to decipher the following peculiarities in the history of Ayodhya judgment:-

  • Both the conflicts i.e. Ownership of land and Demolition of Masjid are not one and the same thing and both the disputes are from different timelines. The land dispute proceedings were initiated post-independence in 1950 whose judgment concluded on November 1950 where as the demolition of the structure took place after 42 years of land dispute whose case is yet to be heard by the hon\’ble court, So one can conclude that both the disputes are not the same and one can\’t decide the fate of the other case after interpreting the judgment in the present scenario.
  • .The excavation and other findings by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) tends to have enough answers as to what is the authenticity of Lord Rama. These important facts can’t be denied by those who question the sanctity of the structure.
  • Another thing was -As directed by the Allahabad High Court, the excavation took place at the site in Ayodhya to look at if there was to be any Hindu Temple or remains underneath the contested non-Hindu structure.For the sake of transparency, the High Court ordered to have representatives from both the sides to check upon the excavations and findings by the ASI and to photograph and make videos of the same. Two judicial officers were appointed to probe the entire process so as to maintain impartiality.

It is generally seen that with long judgments like the current one, varied forms of opinions and authoritative judgments are advanced so soon after the verdict’s pronouncement that it leads to the obfuscation of the real facts and pieces of evidence presented by the party. One should not mix up the cultural aspect to that of the historical one in order to prove the genuineness of a dispute as it certainly leads to chaos and confusion which happened literally in the present case. The Supreme Court has itself stated that they were hearing a case whose origin can be traced back to the origin of Indian civilization. Hence one can imagine the pressure and gravity of the said matter. 

Author

  • Mayank Shyamsukha

    Student at Institute of Law Nirma University. A passionate legal entrepreneur who has a keen interest in legal research and writing. He has authored several articles on Constitutional Law, Contract Law, Information and Technology Law, Family Law etc.

Disclaimer

The views and opinions in this Article are those of the Author and do not reflect the views or opinion of Legally Flawless or its members.

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