Ayodhya verdict: Judges and their orders

Here is a brief profile of the three judges of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court along with excerpts from the landmark verdict on 60-year-old Ramjanambhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit that they delivered on Thursday.

New Delhi: Here is a brief profile of the three judges of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court along with excerpts from the landmark verdict on 60-year-old Ramjanambhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit that they delivered on Thursday.

Justice Sibghat Ullah Khan

After the elevation of Justice SR Alam as the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court, on December 11, 2009, Justice S U Khan was nominated on the special bench of Allahabad High Court, handling the Ayodhya title suits. He sat on the bench for the first time on January 11, 2010.

Justice Khan, who graduated in law in 1975 from the Aligarh Muslim University, is known for his expertise in civil, service and revenue matters. He is also known to be a tough judge who remains firm in his approach.

Justice Khan also did a graduation in science from the AMU in 1971 and after being enrolled as an advocate in the Uttar Pradesh Bar Council in 1975, worked as a lawyer at the Aligarh civil court for two years and then at the Allahabad High court for 25 years. Born on January 31, 1952, Justice Khan was elevated as a permanent Judge of the High Court on December 21, 2002. He is due to retire on January 30, 2014.

Justice Khan’s order: "Here is a small piece of land (1,500 square yards) where
angels fear to tread. It is full of innumerable landmines. We
are required to clear it. Some very sane elements advised us not to attempt that.
We do not propose to rush in like fools lest we are blown.
However, we have to take risk. It is said that the greatest
risk in life is not daring to take risk when the occasion for
the same arises," he wrote in a prelude to his judgement.

Accordingly, all the three sets of parties, i.e. Muslims, Hindus and Nirmohi Akhara are declared joint title holders of the property/ premises in dispute… it is further declared that the portion below the central dome where at present the idol is kept in makeshift temple will be allotted to Hindus in final decree.

It is further directed that Nirmohi Akhara will be allotted share including that part which is shown by the words Ram Chabutra and Sita Rasoi in the said map.

It is further clarified that even though all the three parties are declared to have one third share each, however if while allotting exact portions some minor adjustment in the share is to be made then the same will be made and the adversely affected party may be compensated by allotting some portion of the adjoining land which has been acquired by the Central Government.

The parties are at liberty to file their suggestions for actual partition by metes and bounds within three months.

Status quo as prevailing till date pursuant to Supreme Court judgment of Ismail Farooqui (1994(6) Sec 360) in all its minutest details shall be maintained for a period of three months.

Justice Sudhir Agarwal

Justice Sudhir Agarwal was nominated as a judge on the special bench of Allahabad High Court handling the Ayodhya title suits on September 18, 2008, following the retirement of Justice OP Srivastava.

A law graduate from Meerut University, he is known to be a sharp and strict Judge. Justice Agarwal began his career as a lawyer after having enrolled as an advocate on October 5, 1980. Initially, he practiced tax matters, but soon shifted to service. Exactly 25 years after being enrolled as an advocate, he was elevated as additional judge on October 5, 2005. He took oath as permanent judge on August 8, 2007.

Before his elevation as additional judge, he was additional advocate general of UP since 2003. As per the information available on the site of the Allahabad High Court, he was appointed as additional advocate general on September 19, 2003. In his 25-year-long career, he has worked as standing counsel for UP Power Corporation, UP Rajkiya Nirman Nigam, Allahabad University.

Born on April 24, 1958, Justice Agarwal’s retirement is due on April 23, 2020. He graduated in science from Agra University in 1977.

Justice Agarwal’s order: 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 Janamsthan 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.

The area within the inner courtyard… 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.

The area covered by the structures, namely, Ram Chabutra, Sita Rasoi and Bhandar in the outer courtyard is declared in the share of Nirmohi Akhara.

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.

Justice Dharam Veer Sharma

Justice Dharam Veer Sharma was nominated as a Judge of the three-member bench on February 12, 2007, after the retirement of Justice Bhanwar Singh.

Born on October 2, 1948, Justice Sharma, who graduated in law in 1970, was appointed in the Provincial Civil Services (Judicial) in 1972. Subsequently, he was promoted in the Higher Judicial Services in 1985. In 2002, he was promoted as district and sessions judge. Then he was elevated to the post of additional judge in the High Court on October 20, 2005. He took oath as permanent judge on September 17, 2009.

In the meantime, he served the UP Financial Corporation, Kanpur Nagar, as its Chief Law Officer from July 1989 to October 1991. He was Joint secretary and Joint L R, UP government from September 1994 to 1997. He served the UP government as special secretary and additional LR from 1997 to February 2002. Thereafter, he was elevated as secretary (Judicial) and LR. He became principal secretary, Parliamentary Affairs, UP government, in August 2004. Before his elevation as high court Judge, he was principal secretary (Judicial) and LR.

His is due to retire on October 1, 2010.

Justice Sharma`s order: Holding that the disputed site
in Ayodhya is the birth place of Lord Ram, Justice Dharam Veer
Sharma today said the structure constructed by Babar was
against the tenets of Islam and cannot have the character of a

"The disputed building was constructed by Babar, the
year is not certain but it was built against the tenets of
Islam. Thus, it cannot have the character of a mosque," the
judge said in his judgement on the Ayodhya title suits.

He said the disputed structure was constructed on the
site of the old structure after its demolition. The
Archaeological Survey of India has proved that it was a
massive Hindu religious structure, he said.

The judge said the disputed site "is the birth place of
Lord Ram" and that a "place of birth is a juristic person and
is a deity."

"The spirit of divine ever remains present everywhere
at all times for anyone to invoke in any shape or form in
accordance with his own aspirations and it can be shapeless
and formless," Justice Sharma said.

Compiled by Ritesh K Srivastava