NEW DELHI: November 9, the historic day for India, saw the end of a dispute spanning several centuries which had pitted the Hindu and Muslim communities against each other in the courts. The five-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and comprising of Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde, Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice SA Nazeer maintained the title suit of Ram Lalla and rejected the other petitions.
While reading out its unanimous judgement in the politically-sensitive case, the bench said that Ram Janmabhoomi is not a 'legal personality' but a deity is a jurisdictional person. CJI Ranjan Gogoi said that the faith of Hindus that Lord Ram was born at the said site in Ayodhya stands "undisputed".
"Hindus consider Ayodhya as the birthplace of Lord Ram. They have religious sentiments. Hindus have faith and belief that Lord Ram was born under the dome. The faith of Hindus that Lord Ram was born here is undisputed," CJI Gogoi said while reading out the verdict.
What lies at the core of this judgement is a question of faith and history and the divine infant, Ram Lalla Virajman. Under the Indian law, a Hindu deity can be considered a ‘juristic person’ with the right to be sued or to sue and the apex court began hearing the case, where Ram Lalla was a plaintiff, on August 6. Like other Hindu deities, the infant form of Lord Ram, was termed as a perpetual minor under law. The idea of a Hindu deity as a juristic personality is unique, which does not exist under the English common law. In Indian law, the Hindu deity gets its juristic personality from the devotion of the worshippers.
In this case, the infant Lord Rama was represented by his next ‘human’ friend, Triloki Nath Pandey — a senior VHP leader who is among the litigants in this case.
The deity first became a litigant in 1989, and was represented by Deoki Nandan Agarwal, a former judge of the Allahabad High Court who had filed a plea seeking to become the ‘sakha’ or friend of the deity and its birthplace in the title suits. He was the working president of the VHP at the time.
Deoki Nandan Agarwal died on April 8, 2002, after which an application was made to the court to allow T.P Verma, a retired history professor at BHU, to be appointed as next friend of Ram Lalla. In 2008, Verma applied for retirement from the status of "next friend", citing old age and ill-health. Pandey took over as 'next friend' or 'sakha' in 2010, news agency IANS reported.
Pandey has been appearing in the case for the past decade. Pandey had earlier said there is a need to create awareness among Hindus on the issue of Ram Janmabhoomi.
In its historic judgement, the Supreme Court of India on Saturday directed the central government to make necessary arrangements for the construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya and also ordered it to constitute a Board of Trustees for the same in next three months. The court also gave five acres of suitable land to Sunni Waqf Board at a prominent place in Ayodhya.