Ayodhya Verdict

LUCKNOW: The Allahabad High Court on Thursday ruled by a majority verdict that the disputed land in Ayodhya be divided equally into three parts among Hindus and Muslims and that the place where the makeshift temple of Lord Ram exists belongs to Hindus.

In their separate judgements on the sensitive 60-year old title dispute on Ramjanambhoomi- Babri Masjid structure, Justices S U Khan and Sudhir Agarwal said that the area under the central dome of the three-domed structure where Lord Ram’s idol exists belongs to Hindus.

The majority in the three-judge Lucknow bench also ruled that status quo should be maintained at the disputed place for three months.

Justices Khan and Agarwal decreed that the 2.7 acre land comprising the disputed site should be divided into three equal parts and be given to Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and the party representing ‘Ram Lala Virajman’ (Ram deity).

However, the third judge Justice D V Sharma ruled that that the disputed site is the birth place of Lord Ram and that the disputed building constructed by Mughal emperor Babur was built against the tenets of Islam and did not have the character of the mosque.

Justice Khan said "all the three sets of parties, i.e. Muslims, Hindus and Nirmohi Akhara are declared joint title holders of the property/premises in dispute as described by letters A B C D E F in the map Plan-I prepared by Shri Shiv Shankar Lal, Pleader/Commissioner appointed by court in Suit No. 1 to the extent of 1/3rd share each for using and managing the same for worshipping. A preliminary decree to this effect is passed."

However, the judge observed that it is further declared that the portion below the central dome where at present the idol is kept in makeshift temple will be allotted to Hindus in final decree.

He also said that Nirmohi Akhara will be allotted share including that part which is shown by the words ‘Ram Chabutra’ and ‘Sita Rasoi’ in the said map.

Justice Khan said even though all the three parties are declared to have one-third share each, "however, if while allotting exact portions, some minor adjustments in the share is to be made, then the same will be made and the adversely-affected party may be compensated by some portion of the adjoining land which has been acquired by the central government."(PTI)

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