Babri-Masjid Ram-Mandir dispute: The Supreme Court will start the final hearing in the Ayodhya case which involves the long enduring scuffle on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid.
On December 5, 2017, the Supreme Court will start the final hearing in the Ayodhya case which involves the long enduring scuffle on the Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir. The apex court will hear the case just a day before the 25th anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid. A bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justices Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer will take up the case which will have 13 appeals filed against the 2010 judgment of the Allahabad High Court.
The court, in 2010, had decided that the disputed land of 2.77 acre will be divided in three-way among the parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara, and the Lord Ram Lalla. The people who are fighting over the dispute has decided to resolve the matter, ‘once and for all’. Mahant Dinendra Das, Haji Mehboob and Iqbal Ansari, who have the piece in the Ayodhya disputed land are from three different corners of Ayodhya. And all they want the Supreme Court to do is to “resolve this once and for all” and “let Ayodhya and the country move on”.
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Iqbal Ansari, whose father Hashim was the oldest litigant in the Ayodhya lawsuit passed away last year, told The Indian Express: “It is up to the Supreme Court now. We will accept whatever the court decides. But it must decide and bring this to an end. That’s what my father wanted, and that’s what I want.” Ansari doesn’t fancy an option that can be settled out of court. “We (Muslims) will never sign on any paper giving up our claim. The matter is a dispute over the title and the court must determine whose claim is right. Ayodhya has always been a sacred land and there are sentiments involved with it. But a title dispute is not about faith and sentiments. There has to be a judicial decision.”
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It was in September 2010 when the Allahabad High Court ruled that Nirmohi Akhara, Sunni Central Wakf Board, UP and Ramlalla Virajman will be the joint holders of the disputed property. The court ordered each party a third of the land at the site. But it was in May 2011 when the Supreme Court stayed the operation of the order. The apex court called it “strange” because “the decree of partition was not sought by the parties… not prayed by anyone”.
Mahant Dinendra Das, who shrugged off a rival claim by Mahant Ram Das to head the Nirmohi Akhara after the death of their guru, Mahant Bhaskar Das, in September this year, too says it is up to the Supreme Court now.
But Haji Mehboob, a defendant in the Ayodhya lawsuit, rejects what the VHP had said. Mehboob said, “They are not even a party to the case. We have no objection to a Ram temple. But this is for the court to decide now. Our paperwork is strong, Muslims have a strong case. Parties to the case can always sit and talk. But the VHP is not even a party in this case. They don’t even want to accept that we have a case.” He refers to the demolition of the Babri Masjid: “If it was a temple, why did you destroy it? Or did you destroy it because it was a masjid?… Let the Supreme Court decide now. They must do what they have to. But I would request the court to resolve this, once and for all. For the sake of this country, do it,” he said.
The Shia board has staked claim to the disputed site by saying Mir Baqi, a Shia, built the Babri Masjid in 1528. Chief Waseem Rizvi has met Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, president of the Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas that spearhead the VHP’s campaign in Ayodhya in the 1990s.