Supreme Court Stays High Court Verdict On Ayodhya

New Delhi, May 9: Dubbing as "strange" the Allahabad High Court's verdict of three-way division of the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya, the Supreme Court today stayed its operation saying none of the
supreme court stays high court verdict on ayodhya...
PTI 09 May 2011, 05:59 PM IST

New Delhi, May 9: Dubbing as "strange" the Allahabad High Court's verdict of three-way division of the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya, the Supreme Court today stayed its operation saying none of the parties had demanded partition of the land.

"A new dimension was given by the High Court as the decree of partition was not sought by the parties. It was not prayed by anyone. It has to be stayed. It's a strange order," a Bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice R M Lodha observed while staying the September 30 order of the High Court.

It expressed surprise over how the High Court could pass such an order when it was not prayed by anyone.

"How can a decree of partition be passed when none of the parties had prayed for it. Court has done something on its own. It's strange. Such kind of decrees cannot be allowed to be in operation," the bench said while staying the high court's verdict.

"It is a difficult situation now. The position is that it (the high court verdict) has created litany of litigation," the bench observed.

While ordering status quo at the site, which means that prayers at Ram Lala's make-shift temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya would be going on as usual, the Court restrained any kind of religious activity on the adjacent 67 acre land, which had been taken over by the Centre.

All the parties to the suit expressed satisfaction over the Supreme Court order.

Counsel for various parties, including Lord Rama Lalla Virajman, Hindu Maha Sabha and Sunni Waqf Board, expressed satisfaction over the apex court's interim order saying that none of the parties had sought division of the 2.77 acre land.

Sunni Waqf Board counsel Zafaryab Jilani said, "We are satisfied with today's order of the Supreme Court...This will help in maintaining peaceful position in the country."

The High Court had directed that the controversial land of 2.77 acres at Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid be divided equally among Hindus, Muslims and Nirmohi Akhara, the parties to the suit.

At the start of the proceedings, the bench queried whether any of the parties was in favour of the High Court's verdict but none of them supported the judgement. "At least there is unanimity on it," the bench remarked.

Although the appeals filed by various Hindu and Muslim religious organisations pertained to only 2.77 acre of disputed land, the apex court bench, however, ordered status quo on the 67 acre of land adjacent to the disputed site.

After the demolition of the masjid on December 6, 1992, the demonstrators created a makeshift temple. On January 7, 1993, the Congress government enacted the Ayodhya Act 1993 which preserved the status quo of the destroyed mosque and limited prayer on the disputed site.

The bench was hearing a batch of appeals filed by Nirmohi Akhara, Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, Jamait Ulama-I-Hind and Sunni Central Wakf Board, besides the one filed on behalf of Bhagwan Ram Virajman.

The Wakf Board and Jamait Ulama-I-Hind have submitted that the high court's verdict should be quashed as it was based on faith and not on evidence. They have contended that the court has committed an error by holding that the demolished Babri mosque stood at Lord Ram's birth place.

They have contended that claims of Muslims, Hindus and the Nirmohi Akhara over the disputed site were mutually exclusive and could not be shared.

"It was nobody's case in the high court that the Muslims, Hindus and Nirmohi Akhara were in joint possession of the disputed premises. The claims of the three sets of plaintiffs were mutually exclusive in the sense each set of the plaintiffs claimed the entire property as its own and no one sought a decree for partition of the property," the appeals have said.

The Hindu Mahasabha, on the other hand, has sought only partial annulment of the majority verdict of the high court, which ruled handing over one third of the disputed site to Muslims.

It has sought the apex court's endorsement of the September 30 minority verdict by Justice Dharam Veer Sharma who favoured handing over of the entire land to the Hindus.

"The judgement dated September 30, 2010 by Justice S U Khan and Justice Sudhir Agarwal should be set aside to the extent that one third of the property in dispute has been declared in favour of Muslims and to allot share to them in the decree," the Hindu Mahasabha has said in its petition.

It has appealed to the apex court "to maintain the judgement passed by Justice Dharam Veer Sharma" as the effective verdict.

A three-judge bench of the high court's Lucknow bench had passed three separate judgements on September 30 with the majority verdict holding that the area covered by the central dome of the three-domed structure, where the idol of Lord Rama is situated, belongs to Hindus.

While justices Khan and Agarwal were of the view that the entire disputed land should be divided into three parts - one part each to Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and the parties representing 'Ram Lalla Virajman', Justice Sharma had held that the entire disputed area belongs to Hindus.

Earlier, Delhi MLA Shoaib Iqbal had also filed the appeal in the Supreme Court which refused to entertain it, saying the petition "is misconceived. Hence dismissed."

Various parties to the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit expressed satisfaction over the Supreme Court order staying the Allahabad High Court direction for tripartite division of the disputed land.

The counsel for various parties, including Lord Rama Lalla Virajman, Hindu Maha Sabha and Sunni Waqf Board, expressed satisfaction over the apex court's interim order saying that none of the parties had sought division of the 2.77 acre land.

"There will be no change of situation at ground zero (the make-shift temple of Ram Lalla). The pooja will continue as per the January 7, 1993 order," senior advocate Ravi Shankar Prasad, who is representing Ram Lalla Virajman, told reporters in apex court premises after the hearing on the Ayodhya dispute.

After the demolition of the masjid on December 6, 1992, the demonstrators created a makeshift temple. On January 7, 1993, the Congress government enacted the Ayodhya Act 1993 which preserved the status quo of the destroyed mosque and limited prayer on the disputed site.

Sunni Waqf Board counsel Zafaryab Jilani said, "We are satisfied with today's order of the Supreme Court...This will help in maintaining peaceful position in the country."

"Everybody had claimed for exclusive rights, so Supreme Court is completely justified in staying the high court judgement," he said, adding, "Sunni Waqf board will ask the court to expedite its hearing in the case."

Expressing satisfaction over the apex court order, counsel representing Hindu Maha Sabha said, "Nobody prayed for it (partition of land into three parts). Everybody wanted full land. Our stand continues that entire Janmabhoomi premises belongs to the Hindu Maha Sabha."

The Supreme Court today stayed the Allahabad High Court's verdict dividing in three parts the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya, terming as "something strange" the judgement although the parties had not asked for trifurcation of the land.

The court, while staying the September 30, 2010 judgement of the Lucknow bench of the high court, ordered status quo at the site. PTI

 
   
 

More from india