The court concludes that the Muslim community was wrongfully deprived of their 450-year-old mosque, but goes on to reject their claim for exclusive title and possession.
The Ayodhya judgment of the Supreme Court on Saturday agrees with almost every argument made by the Muslims in support of their title over the Babri Masjid land.
However, the Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi finally decides that a temple should be constructed on the land.
The judgment repeatedly mentions that the Hindus have a “better” possessory claim over the disputed site, but hardly explains the finding.
The court concludes that the Muslim community was wrongfully deprived of their 450-year-old mosque, but goes on to reject their claim for exclusive title and possession. Instead, the court orders the government to provide them with an alternative five-acre plot as a “restitution” for losing the mosque.
The court agrees that the Babri mosque adhered to the tenets of Islam. Prayers were offered regularly there. In fact, the court said the last prayer was offered on December 16, 1949 — a few days before the mosque was desecrated on December 22-23 by the placing of the idols inside. The court rejected the Hindus’ claim that the Muslims had long abandoned the mosque.
The court held that the damage suffered by the mosque in 1934, its desecration in 1949 and the eventual destruction on December 6, 1992 by kar sevaks were a “serious violation of law”.
The judgment said the ouster of Muslims through the act of desecration of their mosque was “an act calculated to deprive them of their place of worship”. It highlighted how the mosque was “brought down” during the pendency of the suits.
At one point, the Bench said, “justice would not prevail if the court were to overlook the entitlement of the Muslims who have been deprived of the mosque through means which should not have been employed in a secular nation committed to the rule of law”.
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