THE Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court gave a historical verdict on Sri Ramjanmabhoomi case on September 30, 2010. It was unanimously accepted by the Bench that the disputed place is birthplace of Sri Ram. It is a historical battle being fought for the last more than 450 years. As the present legal case is concerned it was going on for the last 60 years.
In this legal battle, four suits were decided and judgement was pronounced by the honourable High Court. The relevant issue before the High Court was that is the property in suit, the site of Janmabhoomi of Sri Ramchandraji? Have the Hindus been worshipping the place in dispute as Sri Ramjamnabhoomi or Janmasthan and have been visiting it as a sacred place of pilgrimage as of right since time immemorial? Have the Muslims been in possession of the property in suit from 1528 AD continuously, openly and to the knowledge of defendants and Hindus in general? Whether even after construction of the building in suit deities of Bhagwan Sri Ram Virajman and Sthan Sri Ramjanmabhoomi continued to exist on the property of the suit? Whether any portion of property in suit was used as a place of worship by Hindus immediately prior to the construction of building in question? If the finding is in the affirmative, whether no mosque could come into existence in view of the Islamic tenets at the place in dispute? Whether the premises in question or any part thereof is by tradition, belief and faith the birthplace of Sri Ram? These were the important questions before the High Court to come on the conclusion. Apart from these questions there were other questions, belonging to principle of res-judicita, estopple, limitation, adverse possession also pending before the court.
Some of the questions were unanimously answered by the judges in their different judgements. Justice SU Khan who held on the question that the mosque was constructed in 1528 by Babar, stated: “It is not proved by the direct evidence that premises in dispute including constructed portion belongs to Babar or the person who constructed the mosque or whose under it was constructed.”
Justice Dharmavir Sharma took a clear stand that the mosque was constructed by the Babar after the demolition of Hindu structure and he affirmed the ASI report.
Justice Sudhir Agrawal also affirmed that the ASI report established that prior to 1528 the temple existed.
Justice SU Khan gave a finding that “mosque was constructed over the ruins of temples which were lying in utter ruins since a very long time before the construction of mosque and some material thereof was used in the construction of the mosque.” But the question before the bench was that is this the same place which the Hindus believe Janmabhoomi of Bhagwan Ram.
Justice SU Khan held in his gist of findings “that for a very long time till the construction of the mosque it was treated/believed by Hindus that somewhere in a large area of which premises in dispute is a very small part birth place of Lord Ram was situated, however, the belief did not relate to any specified small area within that bigger area specifically the premises in dispute.” “That for some decades before 1949 Hindus started treating/believing the place beneath the central dome of mosque (where at present makeshift temple stands) to be exact birthplace of Lord Ram.”
Justice Sudhir Agrawal mentions in his findings that “it is declared that the area covered by the central dome of the three domed structure, i.e. the disputed structure being the deity of Bhagwan Ram Janmasthan and place of birth of Lord Rama as per faith and belief of the Hindus, belong to plaintiffs (Suit-5) and shall not be obstructed or interfered in any manner by the defendants.”
However Justice SU Khan and Justice Sudhir Agrawal held that the portion of the land will be divided into three parts. Justice SU Khan held “that in view of the above both the parties are declared to be joint title holders in possession of the entire premises in dispute and a preliminary decree to that effect is passed with the condition that at the time of actual partition by metes and bounds at the stage of preparation of final decree the portion beneath the central dome where at present makeshift temple stands will be allotted to the share of the Hindus.”
Justice Sudhir Agrawal held in his findings the direction for division of land is “the area within the inner courtyard denoted by letters B C D L K J H G in Appendix 7 (excluding (i) above) belong to members of both the communities, i.e. Hindus (here plaintiffs, Suit 5) and Muslims since it was being used by both since decades and centuries. It is however, made clear that for the purpose of share of plaintiffs, Suit 5 under this direction the area which is covered by (i) above shall also be included.
“The area covered by the structure, namely, Ram Chabutra, (EE FF GG HH in Appendix 7) Sita Rasoi (MM NN OO PP in Appendix 7) and Bhandar (II JJ KK LL in Appendix 7) in the outer courtyard is declared in the share of Nirmohi Akhara (defendant no. 3) and they shall be entitled to possession thereof in the absence of any person with better title.
“The open area within the outer courtyard (A G H J K L E F in Appendix 7) (except that covered by (iii) above) shall be shared by Nirmohi Akhara (defendant no. 3) and plaintiffs (Suit 5) since it has been generally used by the Hindu people for worship at both places.
“It is however made clear that the share of Muslim parties shall not be less than one third (1/3) of the total area of the premises and if necessary it may be given some area of outer courtyard. It is also made clear that while making partition by metes and bounds, if some minor adjustments are to be made with respect to the share of different parties, the affected party may be compensated by allotting the requisite land from the area which is under acquisition of the Government of India.
“The land which is available with the Government of India acquired under Ayodhya Act 1993 for providing it to the parties who are successful in the suit for better enjoyment of the property shall be made available to the above concerned parties in such manner so that all the three parties may utilise the area to which they are entitled to, by having separate entry for egress and ingress of the people without disturbing each others rights. For this purpose the concerned parties may approach the Government of India who shall act in accordance with the above directions and also as contained in the judgement of Apex Court in Dr. Ismail Farooqi (Supra).”
After examining the conclusions of the judgement of Honourable judges the following facts are undisputed that Ayodhya is a sacred place where Bhagwan Sri Ram was born and the place under litigation is the birthplace of Bhagwan Ram. It is also confirmed that the mosque was constructed on structure of old Hindu temples.
It was widely published after the judgement that this judgement considered only the question of faith which is not correct. The honourable judges came on the conclusion after considering the classical texts, oral evidences, documentary evidences, travellers reports, excavations by Archaeological Survey of India, relevant case laws, GPRS survey conducted by the scientific international institution and other relevant materials. The judgement came after the critical examination of the documents. It is a fact that there are numerous accounts which clearly prove that the Hindus continue to worship Sri Ramjanmabhoomi as holy and sacred after the disputed structure was constructed on it. These documents are by foreign travellers and British officials who were shocked to see the continued struggle Hindus waged to recover their holy place. In this connection the account of Joseph Tieffenthaler during his visit to India in the 18th century is of the great significance.
This judgement has virtually opened the door to all Bharatiyas to construct a magnificent temple of Sri Ram. Bhagwan Ram represents civilisation of this country. His compassion, ethics, and rule of law is a parameter to a welfare state which we call Ramrajya. The judgement provides an opportunity to all communities to come forward and unitedly work for a strong Bharat.
(The writer is an advocate in Supreme Court of India)