Ayodhya Verdict: There have been appeals for peace and heightened security across the country.
The Supreme Court today said that the disputed site in Ayodhya of the razed Babri mosque would be handed over to a trust to oversee the construction of a temple, subject to conditions. A separate piece of land in the holy town will be given to Muslim groups to build a new mosque, the court ruled in a historic judgement aimed at ending a legal wrangle dating back decades. "This Court is tasked with the resolution of a dispute whose origins are as old as the idea of India itself. The disputed site has been a flash point of continued conflagration over decades," said the five-judge Constitution Bench that heard the case for 40 days before delivering its much-anticipated verdict.
Here are key points made by the judges:
Why the disputed land is being handed over for temple
"..the evidence...in respect of the possessory claim of the Hindus to the composite whole of the disputed property stands on a better footing than the evidence adduced by the Muslims."
Why Muslims were awarded alternative site
"... the Muslims were dispossessed upon the desecration of the mosque on 22/23 December 1949 which was ultimately destroyed on 6 December 1992. There was no abandonment of the mosque by the Muslims. Justice would not prevail if the Court were to overlook the entitlement of the Muslims who have been deprived of the structure of the mosque through means which should not have been employed in a secular nation committed to the rule of law."
Why dividing the land not feasible and won't ensure lasting peace
Three-way bifurcation by the High Court was legally unsustainable.
Even as a matter of maintaining public peace and tranquility, the solution which commended itself to the High Court is not feasible. Dividing the land will not subserve the interest of either of the parties or secure a lasting sense of peace and tranquility.
The Babri mosque demolition was a violation of law
The entire structure of the mosque was brought down in a calculated act of destroying a place of public worship. The Muslims have been wrongly deprived of a mosque which had been constructed well over 450 years ago.