New Delhi: A five-judge Supreme Court began reading out the judgment in the century-old Ayodhya case on Saturday morning. The Constitution Bench is headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.
Starting to read out the judgment, the CJI said the verdict on the Ayodhya land title dispute case is “unanimous” and that it will preserve balance.
The judgment comes almost a decade after the Allahabad High Court had partitioned the disputed site in the ratio of 2:1 between Hindu and Muslim litigants. Both sides had then moved the top court against the judgment.
The country has been put on high alert to ensure that no violence breaks out following the verdict. At least 12,000 security personnel have been posted in Uttar Pradesh, where Ayodhya is situated.
The security cover of the five judges have also been increased ahead of the Ayodhya verdict. Two helicopters have been kept on standby in Lucknow and Ayodhya to tackle any possible emergency. Security arrangements in Delhi have also been tightened.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a series of tweets, said that the “Ayodhya verdict will not be anybody’s victory or loss”, adding that it was the priority of the country’s citizens to maintain harmony.
POLITICS OF IT
The dispute has dominated political discourse since the 1980s. In 1992, right wing activists tore down the 16th century Babri mosque which they believed was built on the ruins of an ancient temple that marked the birthplace of the Lord Ram. More than 2,000 people were killed in the riots that followed post the incident.
BONE OF CONTENTION
The disputed land —spanning an area of over 2.77 acres — in Ayodhya has been claimed by both Hindus and Muslims. While Hindu activists want to build a temple on the site, Muslim groups claim there is no proof that a temple existed there.
The Allahabad High Court in 2010 had prescribed a three-way division of the disputed land but the verdict failed to satisfy the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla, the parties involved in the dispute. All three moved the Supreme Court.