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Case Analysis: M Siddiq (D) THR LRS. VS Mahant Suresh Das & ORS. 2020-1 SCC( 1 ) 10866-10867 of 2010


Facts of the case

Petitioner: M Siddiq (deceased)

Respondent: Mahant Suresh Das & Ors

Date of Judgement: November 9, 2019

Bench: Ranjan Gogoi, S.A.Bobde, Ashok Bhushan, D.Y.Chandrachud, S.A. Mazeer



On December 22, 1949, the Hindu community placed idols of Lord Ram in the Central Dome

On December 22, 1949, the Hindu community placed idols of Lord Ram in the Central Dome, sparking a communal fire that lasted for years. Following suits filed by both communities, the Faizabad Civil Court locked up the disputed area per Section 145 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. However, in 1986, the District Judge of Faizabad Court opened the gates and allowed the Hindu community to worship there. This decision culminated in the demolition of the Babri Masjid by the Karsewaks on December 6, 1992.

The Nirmohi Akhara filed the third suit in this case in 1959. They claimed to be in charge of the temple and its management. The Uttar Pradesh Suni Central Board of Waqf and other Muslims in Ayodhya filed the fourth suit in 1961. Finally, in 1989, the God himself, Bhagwan Ram Lalla Virajman, filed a suit through his next friend, former Justice Deoki Nandan Agarwal. He claimed ownership of the disputed site as well as an injunction.

The Case was transferred from the Civil Court in Faizabad to the Allahabad High Court in 1989. The High Court decided to divide the land into three sections: the inner courtyard for the Lord, the Ram Chabutra and Sita Rasoi for the Nirmohi Akhara, and the remainder for the Sunni Board. However, none of the parties were satisfied with the Court’s decision and thus filed Appeals and Special Leave Petitions with the Supreme Court.

According to the Hindu community, the Ram Janam Bhoomi existed previously and was destroyed by the Mughals after they conquered India, and then the Babri Masjid was built. On the other hand, the Muslims claimed that the mosque was built on a vacant plot of land by Mir Qasim, the General of Babur, per Babur’s orders. On the other hand, the Muslim community did not deny the existence of Ram Janam Bhoomi. They only stated that the Hindu community did not have a proprietary claim. According to the Nirmohi Akhara, the suit was filed in the capacity of the Shebat. A Shebait is a person who serves and manages the Deity and has complete control over the Deity’s property.

The Sunni Board’s main argument was that no deities existed in the area until the idols were placed in 1949. They claimed that they used to pray in the mosque regularly until 1949. Because they used the disputed property for a long time, it would be more advantageous to them. On the other hand, the Hindu community claimed that after Babur invaded their land, now known as India, he destroyed several temples, including the temple in Ayodhya. Since the Hindu community had to face the brutality of their invasion, it was only fair to right the wrongs of the past following the adoption of a constitutional form of just government. They claimed that the land title, which had existed since the twelfth century, would still be valid today. Evidence was presented, including a 1928 edition of the Faizabad Gazette. This gazette acknowledged the destruction of the ancient temple known as the Ram Janam Bhoomi by the Mughal ruler Babur. The Kasauti Pillar and other materials from the destroyed temple constructed the mosque. Even after the destruction, worshippers continued to worship Lord Ram through various symbols such as Sita Rasoi. The suit filed on behalf of the Deity was significant because it was necessary to represent the Lord himself rather than his followers. He would be more concerned with their interests rather than Lord Ram’s.


ISSUES

·  Were the lawsuits filed by Nirmohi Akhara, Sunni Waqf Board, and the Deity himself barred by Indian limitation law?

· Whether Ram Janma Bhoomi could be recognized as a Juristic entity?

·  Whether Was there a temple that existed in the disputed area? If so, would the Hindu community be entitled to it?


JUDGEMENT:

The Supreme Court of India, on November 9, 2019, delivered its unanimous verdict in the M Siddiq (D) Thr Lrs v Mahant Suresh Das & Ors case. The court gave its ruling in favor of the Hindu parties and granted them the disputed land while providing an alternative plot of land to the Sunni Central Waqf Board for building a mosque. The court held that the underlying structure below the demolished Babri Masjid was not Islamic in nature and that the mosque was built on top of the ruins of a temple. The court further held that the Muslim side had failed to establish continuous and exclusive possession of the disputed land. The court stated that the Hindu parties had established their right to worship at the disputed site and that the Archaeological Survey of India’s report confirmed the presence of a temple at the site.

The court also held that the government’s acquisition of the land in 1993 was not illegal. The court ordered the formation of a trust, called the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra, to oversee the construction of a temple at the disputed site. The trust was to have 15 members, including one member from the Nirmohi Akhara, which was granted the right to be a part of the trust without any voting rights.

The Sunni Central Waqf Board was granted an alternative plot of land of 5 acres in Ayodhya for the construction of a mosque. The court directed the central government to provide the necessary land to the Board.

In conclusion, the Supreme Court of India, in its unanimous verdict, granted the disputed land to the Hindu parties for the construction of a temple, while providing an alternative plot of land to the Sunni Central Waqf Board for the construction of a mosque. The judgment marked the end of a long-standing legal dispute over the ownership of the disputed site in Ayodhya.


CONCLUSION

There comes a time when reconciliation and resolution outweigh the desire to eliminate injustice. Apparently, the Supreme Court has chosen the direction that best promotes social unity by allowing a temple to come up at the disputed site in Ayodhya through a government-mandated fund.

The court asked for reservation of a five-acre plot elsewhere in Ayodhya that could be used for a modern mosque to replace Muslim rights parties fired for unconstitutionally demolishing the century-old Babri Masjid. Clearly, there is more political reconciliation, moral compensation and less judgment to protect their religious rights.

With a divided political climate, the ultimate prize remains a source of concern for everyone for whom the solution lies in more than maintaining stability. Still, they agreed, the most welcome issue in the five-judge court’s 1,045-page decision. Because it sends the message that the judges fought with one eye to ensure a legal burial for a long dispute that started as a small dispute, developed into a political point of contention and was a festering body-politic wound for years. The fact that the case is effectively closed would greatly help all citizens who value justice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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