SC stays Ayodhya verdict

Allahabad HC had divided the Ramjanmbhoomi-Babri Masjid site into three parts.

Updated: May 09, 2011, 16:57 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday stayed
the Allahabad High Court`s verdict dividing in three parts the
disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya, terming
as "something strange" the judgement although the parties had
not asked for trifurcation of the land.

The court, while staying the September 13, 2010
judgement of the Lucknow bench of the High Court, ordered
status quo at the site.

A bench of justices Aftab Alam and R M Lodha, while
terming the High Court`s judgement "as something strange,"
said the partition of the land was ordered despite none of the
parties to the dispute seeking it.

While directing that there shall be no religious
activity on the 67 acre land, acquired by the central
government adjacent to the disputed structure, the apex court
bench said the status quo shall be maintained with regard to
the rest of the land.

In the wake of the court`s order, prayers at Ram
Lalla`s make-shift temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya
would be going on as usual.

The Lucknow bench of the High Court had in September
last year passed the verdict directing partition of the 2.77
acre on which the disputed structure once stood into three
parts among Muslims, Hindus and Nirmohi Akhara.

"A new dimension was given by the high court as the
decree of partition was not sought by the parties. It was not
prayed by anyone. It has to be stayed. It’s a strange order,"
the bench said.

Expressing surprise over the High Court`s verdict, the
bench observed, "How can a decree of partition be passed when
none of the parties had prayed for it.

"Court has done something on its own. It`s strange.
Such kind of decrees cannot be allowed to be in operation,"
the bench said while staying the High Court`s verdict.

"It is a difficult situation now, the position is that
it (the High Court verdict) has created litany of litigation,"
the bench observed.

Although the appeals filed by various Hindu and Muslim
religious organisations pertained to only 2.77 acre of
disputed land, the bench, however, also ordered status quo on
the 67 acre of land adjacent to the disputed site.

The bench was hearing a batch of appeals filed by
Nirmohi Akhara, Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, Jamait
Ulama-I-Hind and Sunni Central Wakf Board, besides the one
filed on behalf of Bhagwan Ram Virajman.

The 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. They have contended that
the court has committed an error by holding that the
demolished Babri mosque stood at Lord Ram`s birth place.

They have contended that claims of Muslims, Hindus and
the Nirmohi Akhara over the disputed site were mutually
exclusive and could not be shared.