SC to deliver Ayodhya verdict on Saturday

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi had started the day-to-day proceedings on August 6 and concluded the same on October 16 after marathon hearing of 40 days

SC to deliver Ayodhya verdict on Saturday

NH Web Desk

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

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

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

The Constitution bench, which started the day-to-day proceedings on August 6, comprised Chief Justice-designate S.A. Bobde, Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice D.Y Chandrachud and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer besides CJI Gogoi.

Ahead of the crucial judgement, CJI Ranjan Gogoi on Friday held a highly confidential meeting with Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary and Director General of Police (DGP), to apparently take stock of the law and order situation.

According to sources, three of the five judges from the bench - Chief Justice Gogoi, Chief Justice-designate S.A. Bobde and Justice Ashok Bhushan attended the meeting with the Chief Secretary Rajendra Kumar Tiwari and the DGP.

It is learnt the discussion mainly focussed on the law and order situation in the state in view of the judgement.

The city of Ayodhya has been turned into a fortress ahead of the judgement, with the Centre deploying more than 20,000 paramilitary and police personnel in Ayodhya city alone. The Uttar Pradesh government is also deploying two helicopters as a part of the security arrangements. Several temporary jails have also been set up.

Meanwhile, prominent leaders and organisations from both communities -- Hindus and Muslims -- have appealed to the people to maintain peace and brotherhood no matter in whose favour the apex court decision goes.

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.

The first law suit in the case was filed in 1950 by Gopal Singh Visharad, a devotee of “Ram Lalla”, seeking enforcement of the right to worship of Hindus at the disputed site. In the same year, Paramahansa Ramachandra Das also filed the lawsuit for continuation of worship and keeping the idols under the central dome of the Babri masjid.

Later, the Nirmohi Akahara also moved the trial court in 1959 seeking management and “'shebaiti'” (devotee) rights over the land. In 1961, the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Wakf Board moved the court, claiming title right over the property.

The deity, ‘Ram Lalla Virajman’ through next friend and former Allahabad High Court judge Deoki Nandan Agrawal, and the Janambhoomi (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 Babri masjid on December 6, 1992.

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Published: 8 Nov 2019, 9:55 PM