New Delhi, In a path-breaking judgement in the Ram janambhoomi Babri Masjid case, the Supreme Court on Saturday cleared the way for construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya while directing the Centre to allot a 5-acre alternate plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a mosque.
In a unanimous verdict, a five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme court, headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, granted the entire 2.77 acres of disputed land in Ayodhya to deity Ram Lalla.
The court said the disputed land in Ayodhya will be given to a government-run trust for the building of a temple while an alternative plot will be given to the Sunni Waqf Board for a mosque.
The judges said a trust should be formed within three months for the construction of the temple. The court said that a suitable plot of land measuring 5 acres shall be given to Sunni Waqf Board either by the state or by the Centre
The court directed that under Article 142, Nirmohi Akhara will also get representation.The disputed land will remain vested in statutory receiver till the trust is formed. The Nirmohi Akhara also suffered a setback with the court saying it is not a ‘Shavait’ or devotee of the deity Ram Lalla.
The pronouncement of the verdict, which commenced at 1030 hrs, went on for 45 minutes. The five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi heard the case for 40 days.
The other members of the bench are Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer.
The Ayodhya title suit verdict comes nine years after the 2:1 judgment of the Allahabad High Court that ordered a three-way division of the disputed 2.77 acres of land between the three parties — Ram Lalla, Sunni Waqf Board and the Nirmohi Akhara. The Lucknow Bench of the High Court, on September 30, 2010, held that Hindus and Muslims were joint title holders of the disputed land. The verdict was delivered before Chief Justice Gogoi retires on November 17.