BeyondHeadlines Staff Reporter
New Delhi: Disagreeing with the September 30, 2010, verdict of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court of dividing the Ramjanmbhoomi-Babri Masjid’s 2.77 acre disputed land into three parts among Muslims, Hindus and Nirmohi Akhara, the Supreme Court today stayed and criticised the high court verdict on the title dispute.
A bench of Justices Aftab Alam and R M Lodha heared the appeals filed by Nirmohi Akhara, Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, Jamait Ulama-I-Hind and Sunni Central Wakf Board and said,”The partition of the disputed land has opened a litany of litigation.”
The court also said, “The partition of disputed land has “opened a litany of litigation”, SC said.
Terming the high court verdict on Ayodhya as “strange,” the apex court directed no religious activity be performed on 67-acre area adjacent to the disputed site.
Holding the disputed site was the birthplace of Lord Ram, the Lucknow Bench had said each party – the Hindu Mahasabha, the Sunni Waqf Board and the Nirmohi Akhara — would be entitled to one-third share of the disputed land, with Lord Ram’s idol continuing to stay at the place where he was placed.
Dissatisfied with the decision, different religious groups have approached the apex court. The Sunni Wakf Board and Jamait Ulama-i-Hind have submitted that the high court’s verdict should be quashed as it was based on faith and not on evidence. It contended that the court has committed an error by holding that the building stood at the place of birth of Ram.
They submitted that claims of Muslims, Hindus and Nirmohi Akhara over the controversial site are mutually exclusive and cannot be shared.
“It was nobody’s case in the High Court that the Muslims, Hindus and Nirmohi Akhara were in joint possession of the disputed premises. The claims of the three sets of plaintiffs were mutually exclusive in the sense each set of plaintiffs claimed the entire property as its own and no one sought a decree for partition of the property,” the appeals said.
The Hindu Mahasabha, on the other hand, has sought only partial annulment of the majority verdict of the high court, which ruled for handing over one third of the disputed site to Muslims. It sought the apex court’s endorsement of the September 30 minority verdict by Justice Dharam Veer Sharma who ruled for handing over of the entire land to Hindus.
“Set aside the judgement dated September 30, 2010 by Justice S.U. Khan and Justice Sudhir Agarwal to the extent that one third of the property in dispute has been declared in favour of Muslims and to allot share to them in the decree,” said the Hindu Mahasabha in its petition.
It appealed to the apex court “to maintain the judgement passed by Justice Dharam Veer Sharma” as the effective verdict.
A petition has also been filed on behalf of Bhagwan Ram Virajman (seated Baby Ram).
Earlier, a Delhi MLA Shoaib Iqbal had also filed the appeal in the apex court but the Supreme Court refused to entertain it saying the petition “is misconceived. Hence dismissed”.