SC to pronounce its verdict in Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute today

RSTV Bureau
File photo - Supreme Court of India

File photo – Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court is scheduled to pronounce on Saturday its verdict in the Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya.

The apex court is likely to pronounce judgement at 10:30 am in the morning.

A 5-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, had reserved the judgement on October 16 after marathon hearing of 40 days.

A notice regarding the pronouncement of judgement by a Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, was uploaded on the official website of the Supreme Court late Friday evening.

Other members of the bench are Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer.

Hours before the notice, the CJI in the pre-noon held a meeting with Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Rajendra Kumar Tiwari and DGP Om Prakash Singh who apprised him about the security arrangements made to maintain law and order in the state.

The meeting was held in the CJI’s chamber, sources said.

Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

Initially, as many as five lawsuits were filed in the lower court. The first one was filed by Gopal Singh Visharad, a devotee of ”Ram Lalla”, in 1950 to seek enforcement of the right to worship of Hindus at the disputed site.

In the same year, the Paramahansa Ramachandra Das had also filed the lawsuit for the continuation of worship and keeping the idols under the central dome of the now-demolished disputed structure.

The plea was later withdrawn.

Later, the Nirmohi Akahara also moved the trial court in 1959 seeking management and ”shebaiti” (devotee) rights over the 2.77 acre disputed land.

Then came the lawsuit of the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Wakf Board which moved the court in 1961, claiming title right over the disputed property.

The deity, ”Ram Lalla Virajman”, through next friend and former Allahabad High Court judge Deoki Nandan Agrawal, and the Janmbhoomi (the birthplace) moved the lawsuit in 1989, seeking title right over the entire disputed property on the key ground that the land itself has the character of the deity and of a ”Juristic entity”.

Later, all the lawsuits were transferred to the Allahabad High Court for adjudication following the demolition of the disputed Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid structure on December 6, 1992, sparking communal riots in the country.

The apex court had on August 6 commenced day-to-day proceedings in the case as the mediation proceedings initiated to find the amicable resolution had failed.

It had taken note of the report of the three-member panel, comprising Justice FMI Kallifulla, spiritual guru and founder of the Art of Living Foundation Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate and renowned mediator Sriram Panchu, that mediation proceedings, which went on for about four months, did not result in any final settlement and it had to decide the matter pending before it.

Security has been beefed up in Ayodhya and adjoining areas ahead of the Supreme Court verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri masjid title suit and the administration is keeping strict vigil in 31 districts of Uttar Pradesh, officials said on Saturday.

The Uttar Pradesh government has created temporary jails in every district while internet services may be banned in some places to check the spread of rumours through social media.

The Union Home Ministry is in regular correspondence with the state government and has provided 4,000 central paramilitary personnel for deployment in Uttar Pradesh, a senior official said.

Special vigil is being maintained on more than 670 people on social media and if the need arises the internet can be stopped to check the spread of rumours, the official said.

Security has been tightened in Ayodhya and its adjoining areas while temporary prisons have been created in every district of the state.

The state government has identified 31 districts as sensitive while Section 144 under CrPC, prohibiting the gathering of five or more persons, has already been imposed across Uttar Pradesh.

Special focus is being given to Ayodha, the district where the disputed structure is located, and different tiers of security zones have been created there, and each visitor is being scanned.

Security in and around the Supreme Court has increased on Saturday ahead of the judgment in the politically sensitive Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case, with barricades being put on roads leading to the apex court’s premises.

The Supreme Court is likely to pronounce the judgment at 10:30 am.

A strong posse of security personnel have been deployed around the court complex and vehicles and pedestrians are being subjected to full checks.

Security outside the residences of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer, who are part of the five-judge Constitution Bench, which will deliver the judgment, has also been beefed up by the Delhi Police.

 

(With inputs from agencies)