SC to hear Ramjanmbhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute



SC to hear Ramjanmbhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute New Delhi: The Supreme Court will on Monday hear arguments in the Ramjanmbhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit in which a bunch of petitions have been filed by various Muslim and Hindu groups challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict.

Expressing dissatisfaction over the High Court's verdict of dividing the 2.77 acre disputed site into three parts among Muslims, Hindus and Nirmohi Akhara, different religious groups have approached the apex court.

A bench of justices Aftab Alam and RM Lodha will hear the appeals filed by Nirmohi Akhara, Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, Jamait Ulama-I-Hind and Sunni Central Wakf Board. A petition has also been filed on behalf of Bhagwan Ram Virajman (seated Baby Ram).

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. 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 SU 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 three-judge bench of the High Court's Lucknow bench had passed three separate judgements on September 30 with the majority verdict holding that the area covered by the central dome of the three-domed structure, where the idol of Lord Rama is situated, belongs to Hindus.

While justice Khan and Agarwal were of the view that the entire disputed land should be divided into three parts - one part each to Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and the parties representing 'Ram Lalla Virajman', Justice Sharma had held that the entire disputed area belongs to Hindus.

Earlier, a Delhi MLA Shoaib Iqbal had also filed an appeal in the apex court but the Supreme Court refused to entertain it saying the petition "is misconceived. Hence dismissed".

PTI