DAY 1 HEARING OF AYODHYA CASE

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The Ayodhya/Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir case is being currently going on in Supreme Court based on day to day hearing. Constitution Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer will conduct the case. 

The Ayodhya case was referred to a Constitution Bench on 9th January of this year. Prior, a three-judge Bench had declined to the issue to a bigger Bench.

The apex court, seeing that the mediation efforts in the decades-old dispute had failed, took up the case for everyday hearings beginning from Tuesday i.e. 6th of August. Before the contentions started, the bench, involving Justice SA Bobde, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice SA Nazeer, rejected the plea for recording the Ayodhya case proceedings as was sought by previous RSS ideologue KN Govindacharya.

AYODHYA TITLE DISPUTE:

  • On December 1949, Idol of Ram and Sita Mata appeared miraculously inside the Babri Masjid.
  • Hindus claimed after appearance of the idols of Sita Mata and Lord Ram that Ram has showed up in his birth land, therefore land belongs to Hindus.

  • Since then total of five suits have been filed for gaining the ownership of land.
  • First suit was filed on Jan 16, 1950, seeking for authorization to worship gods in the disputed structure, second suit recorded in Dec 1950 by Head of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, looking for consent to worship deities, first two suits clubbed together by Civil Judge in Faizabad. 
  • Third suit was filed in Dec 1959 by Nirmohi Akhara trying to assume responsibility for the ‘temple’ from a rival.
  • Fourth suit was filed by Sunni Central Boards of Waqfs, UP, in Dec 1961 seeking removal of idols & possession of mosque.
  • In April, 1964, each of the three suits recorded by Hindus and the one documented by the Waqf Board were consolidated. 
  • In 1989, retired High Court judge filed petition on behalf of Lord Ram claiming the ownership of the disputed land.
  • In 1989 Allahabad HC decides that a unique three-judge seat will hear all of the five suits in the lower courts. 
  • HC directs all parties to maintain status quo at the site till matter is finished.
  • On September 30, 2010 the three-judge special Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court decided by majority vote that the contested land in Ayodhya be partitioned into three sections and be circulated among the Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and the gathering for ‘Lord Rama’. The High Court decided that the land on which the symbol of Lord Rama was introduced had a place with the Hindus and part of the land under the central part of Babri Masjid was the Ram Janamsthan which will go to the Hindus. 
  • The majority part judgment proved that the land where Lord Ram’s idol is placed is the place of birth of Lord Ram. Justice Khan and Justice Agarwal have informed that the land would be divided into three parts. The area where Lord Ram’s idol is set will be given to Hindus, the other 33% will be given to Muslims and the staying 33% of land will be given to Nirmohi Akhara.
  • The Ayodhya case was referred to a Constitution Bench on 9th January of this year. Prior, a three-judge Bench had declined to the issue to a bigger Bench.

DAY 1 HEARING:

  • Day 1 of the Supreme Court hearing of the land debate in Ayodhya case closed with petitioner Nirmohi Akhara telling the court that no Muslim was permitted inside the temple since 1934 and looked for the control and the management of the whole 2.77 acres of the disputed land.
  • The Nirmohi Akhara, one of the parties to the case, presented his side of the case before the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi-led Constitutional bench and said that the structure has been in its exclusive possession.
  • Senior advocate Sushil Jain, appearing for Nirmohi Akhara, says He is a registered body. His suit is mainly for assets, ownership and the management rights.” He further stated, “They were in possession of inner courtyard and Ram Janmasthan for many years. Outer courtyard having ‘Sita Rasoi’, ‘Chabutra’, ‘Bhandar Grah were in our ownership and it was never a piece of debate in any case.”

OPENING STATEMENT BY NIRMOHI AKHARA:

  • Nirmohi Akhara presented his arguments first on Tuesday saying that they have been fighting for this for so long because it is an issue of emotions for them.
  • Asserting authority over the contested 2.77 acres of land, Senior advocate Sushil Kumar Jain contended, “The place known as Ram Janmasthan was in possession of Nirmohi Akhara.” While the five-judge Constitution bench posed inquiries to comprehend the “structure and areas” of the contested site, the Nirmohi Akhara contended that its temple had been “demolished by some miscreants with no caste, or creed, or religion” on 6 December 1992.
  • It was also contended by Nirmohi Akhara that –‘No Muslims were allowed to enter the structure since 1934’. He additionally referred to decisions to back his argument that “a spot can’t be viewed as a mosque if no prayers or namaz are offered there.” Citing another proof, the counsel said that the absence of arrangement for ‘wuzu’, by which Muslims wash hands and feet before namaz, at questioned site was interpreted by the Allahabad high court to arrive at the conclusion that prayers were not being offered there for long and thus it had ceased to be a mosque.
  • In any case, accordingly, the Supreme Court referred to the Allahabad’s high court’s structure saying that before 1934, Muslims were offering regular prayer at the site.

CHIEF JUSTICE RANJAN GOGOI ASKED FOR THE PROOF OF THE TEMPLE:

  • CJI on the first date of hearing asked the petitioner to prove that there was existence of any temple and there was idol in it.
  • To this counsel appearing for Nirmohi Akhara said that the structure was abolished in 1992. However Gogoi demanded the evidence citing the Allahabad judge’s statement about there being “no evidence” . Continuing the arguments in the case Jain emphasized on the importance of worshipping of deity at the Ram Janmabhoomi Site.
  • Jain also said that the suit was filed in 1959 i.e. 4 years after the order of attachment was issued relating to the attachment of the proceeding.
  • Justice Chandrachud, asked Jain that whether the basis of the claim of the Nirmohi Akhara to the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land was possession or ownership, in answer to this Jain said that, “Ownership because of possession.”
  • The hearing for Day 1 concluded on 6th of August and will resume on 7th of August.

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