Ayodhya verdict: Disputed site goes to Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, Muslims get 5 acres elsewhere

The Supreme Court in its historic verdict in the Ayodhya Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid case has said Ram Janmabhoomi Nayas is the owner of the disputed land in Ayodhya. The court has ordered that the Muslims should be given 5 acres elsewhere to build a mosque.

Delivering the verdict, the Supreme Court said archaeological excavations suggest that there was an underlying structure under the Babri Masjid which was “not of Islamic origin”. The Supreme Court said there is sufficent evidence to suggest that the Babri Masjid was not constructed on “vacant land”. It said the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) could not suggest that there was a temple of the 12th century at the disputed site. It said the ASI has not specifically said that the underlying structure was a temple.

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said the ASI report has left unanswered a critical part of its remit i.e. whether a Hindu temple was demolished to construct the Babri Masjid. The Supreme Court said there is no archaeological evidence of what existed between the 12th century and the 16the century when the Babri Masjid was built.

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi is reading the verdict and has said it is inappropraite for the court to go into the domain of theology. The Supreme Court has made it clear that the land title must be decided only on legal principles.

The Supreme Court has rejected the suits filed by the Shia Waqf Board and the Nirmohi Akhara. The court also said no submissions were made challenging the legal personality of Ram Janmabhoomi.

The landmark Ayodhya verdict is being delivered by a five-member Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi. The bench also comprised Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer.

To avoid any chaos, the Supreme Court has restricted entry of persons today in the court. The Public Relation Office of the Supreme Court has said the one-day pass that is made for entry of litigants/junior lawyers is not being issued today. Only those litigants whose names are on the causelist will be issued entry passes.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah is chairing a high-level security meeting in New Delhi, while DGP Uttar Pradesh OP Singh is holding a meeting with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to apprise him of the elaborate security arrangements.

Meanwhile, ahead of the Supreme Court’s much-awaited verdict in the Ayodhya land dispute case on Saturday, security has been tightened across India. While forces are on alert across the country, elaborate security arrangements have been put in place in Uttar Pradesh and especially Ayodhya in wake of the verdict.