New Delhi: The Supreme Court will on Saturday pronounce its verdict in the sensitive and decades-old Ayodhya land dispute case. In a development that took everyone by surprise, it was announced only late last night that the verdict in the case would be pronounced on November 9.
Ahead of the verdict, educational institutions in several states have been closed till Monday. Security has been beefed up across the country; Ayodhya has turned into a fortress. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among a host of politicians to appeal for calm and respect for the SC verdict, whichever way it goes.
The apex court will pronounce its verdict on 14 appeals filed against the Allahabad High Court judgment of September 2010, in the case. Here’s a brief look at what the Allahabad HC verdict of 2010 said:
The verdict: On September 30, 2010, a three-judge bench, comprising Justices SU Khan, Sudhir Agarwal and DV Sharma held unanimously that the disputed 2.77-acre of land should be divided equally (one-third to each) among the three parties to the case. The bench pronounced its verdict on four title suits relating to the dispute.
The parties: There are three main parties to the dispute: Ram Lalla (represented by the Hindu Mahasabha), Sunni Waqf Board and Nirmohi Akhara.
Which side got what: The Hindu Mahasabha was allotted the central dome, Nirmohi Akhara got the part of the property in the outer courtyard which has the Ram Chabutra and the Sita Rasoi. The Muslim side, meanwhile, got the remaining portion of the property.
Points of dissent within the bench: Within the bench, dissent was recorded on points like the existence of a Hindu temple which was allegedly demolished to construct the Babri Mosque, who built the Babri Mosque. While on the former point Justices Agarwal and Sharma agreed with each other, on the latter, Justices Khan and Sharma both concluded that it was indeed built by Babar.
Challenge in Supreme Court: In December 2010, all parties eventually moved the apex court against the HC verdict, which the top court stayed on May 9, 2011.
The case was heard on a day-to-day basis, starting August 6, by a five-judge Constitution bench headed by the CJI and also comprising the CJI-designate, Justice Bhushan and Justices DY Chandrachud and SA Nazeer. It reserved its verdict on October 16.