The 40-day marathon hearing on the Ram Temple-Babri Masjid dispute was completed on October 16 and now the Supreme Court is going to pronounce its decision at 10.30 am today.
This matter has been included in the list of cases to be decided on Saturday.
Earlier, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court met the officials of Uttar Pradesh and took stock of the situation in view of the decision.
After this, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to keep all schools and colleges closed till Monday i.e. November 11.
It was earlier being speculated that the Supreme Court will pronounce its decision between 7 and 16 in November as Chief Justice Justice Ranjan Gogoi is retiring on November 17.
This will be a historic decision. There is a dispute over the ownership of the politically sensitive Ram temple and the Babri Masjid land.
A day before the last hearing, Justice Gogoi had said that the hearing would be completed by 5 pm on October 16, but an hour before the hearing was announced.
Also, the court also said that if the arguments are left, the concerned parties can give in writing within three days.
A constitution bench of the Supreme Court was hearing this matter.
Senior journalist Suchitra Mohanty According to the Chief Justice, who is retiring on November 17, he was expected to make a decision before that.
The bench is headed by the Chief Justice of India. After a long hearing that lasted for nearly 40 days, the court had reserved its decision. When the trial of the case was completed on October 16, 2019, it was revealed that this was the second longest running hearing in the history of the Supreme Court of India.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had heard the Kesavanand Bharti case called milestone for 68 days. At the same time, in the case of long hearing, on the third number was the case of the constitutionality of Aadhar card. The hearing of this case lasted for 38 days in the Supreme Court of India.
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Reconciliation attempt failed
The names of the other four honorable judges of the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court hearing the Ram temple Babri Masjid land dispute are Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde, Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice S Abdul Nazeer. The Supreme Court of the country had heard the case every day since August 6.
That means five days a week. Earlier, a three-member arbitration panel headed by retired Justice FMI Kalifullah had failed to resolve the matter through negotiations. This hearing, which was going on in the Supreme Court, was on the appeals filed against the Allahabad High Court's decision on this matter on 30 September 2010.
The Allahabad High Court, in its decision nine years ago (2010), had decided to divide the disputed 2.77 acres of land in Ayodhya into three equal parts. The High Court had decided to distribute the land equally between Ram Lala, Sunni Waqf Board and Nirmohi Arena.
However, the three parties in the case, ie Nirmohi Akhara, Sunni Waqf Board and Ram Lala, had refused to accept the Allahabad High Court's decision, knocking the door of the Supreme Court against it and appealed for a change in it.
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Nirmohi Arena's argument
Nirmohi Akhara had said in the Supreme Court that those who want to build a Ram temple on the disputed land of Ayodhya, claim that Babur's Subedar Mir Baqi had built a mosque by breaking the Ram Temple building there.
Quoting the Archaeological Survey of India, he claims that there was a temple under the mosque.
Nirmohi Akhara told the Supreme Court that those who are in favor of the Ram temple claim that Baba's master Mir Mir Baqi built Babri Masjid in 1528 on the fort which Ram had built.
While cross-examining the Nirmohi Akhara, senior advocate Sushil Kumar Jain had cited from the Supreme Court some documents presented in the lower court that the Nirmohi Akhara on the Ram Janmabhoomi is entitled and the land should be given to them.
Sushil Kumar Jain had said during the debate in the Supreme Court that the inner dome of the mosque also belongs to the Nirmohi Arena. In the cross-examination before the five-member Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, Jain had also said that, 'For hundreds of years, the inner courtyard of the disputed land and the Ram Janmasthan had been in our possession' (Nirmohi Akhara).
During the debate in the Supreme Court, Sushil Kumar Jain said that the Nirmohi Arena runs many temples. Jain had told the Supreme Court in detail what are the functions of the Nirmohi Akhara. Jain had told the court that, before the death of Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi, she was protected by the Nirmohi Arena.
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Claim on disputed land
Sushil Kumar Jain also said in the debate before the Constitution Bench of the five judges that the application of the Nirmohi Akhada is only related to the inner courtyard of the disputed land, which also includes Sita Kitchen and Warehouse.
The place which is today called 'Place of Birth' is in the possession of the Nirmohi Akhara. From 1932 onwards, the influx of Muslims from the temple gate was forbidden. Only Hindus can go to worship at the place of birth.
Sushil Jain had also added in the cross-examination before the court saying that it was wrong to snatch the right and maintenance of the temple from the Nirmohi Akhara.
Sushil Kumar Jain also said that 'Nirmohi Akhara has been maintaining and worshiping Ram Lala Virajman at the disputed place since a long time.
The temple itself is the birthplace. Therefore, the ownership of the disputed land belongs to the Nirmohi Akhara. Jain said that our claim on the disputed land was filed in 1934 while the Sunni Waqf Board filed its suit to claim the disputed land in 1961.
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Reference to Ramayana
Jain further told the Supreme Court that, 'We have been fighting this case for a long time because it is connected with our feelings. Nirmohi Akhara has an outer yard. That is why we filed suit for the ownership of its inner courtyard.
The lawyer of Nirmohi Akhara had said, 'It was because of hindrance in our prayers and prayers that we were forced to file this case. Because our right of ownership was also taken away and we were also denied the right to manage it. Even after the seizure in 1949, the ownership rights of its management cannot be taken away from us.
Sushil Jain, while presenting his case in front of the court, said that the Hindus kept the statues at the disputed site in 1949, the charge itself is false. Jain said that this story was fabricated by the Muslim side only to create controversy.
Challenging the claim of the Sunni Waqf Board over the inner enclosure, Senior Advocate Jain had argued that the entire area is a single judicial precinct and all fall within its ambit. In such a situation, the Sunni Waqf Board cannot stake its claim on one part of it.
Senior Advocate K.K. Parasaran argued with Ram Lala (also known as Rama Lala). He argued before the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court that at least three places in the Valmiki Ramayana, it is mentioned that Shri Ram was born in Ayodhya.
Catechism at Ram's birthplace
On this argument of Parasaran, the court asked him whether the question of whether Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem has come before any court.
Then senior lawyer K.K. Parasaran said that, 'Place of birth is not exactly the place where Shri Rama was born, but also the land around it falls within the same scope. Therefore the whole area is the birthplace. There is no dispute that this is the birthplace of Shri Ram. Both the Hindu and Muslim sides call the disputed land as the place of birth.
On behalf of Ram Lala, senior lawyer CS Vaidyanath said that on 16 December 1949, the Muslims had prayed for the last time there. 6 days later, on 22 December 1949, idols were placed there.
On this, the court asked if Muslims could not offer namaz there by placing idols?
On this, Vaidyanathan replied that there was a ban on Muslims going there.
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Reference to Archaeological Survey of India
In his debate, Vaidyanathan sought permission to cite William Finch's travelogue. William Finch visited India from 1608 to 1611.
Vaidyanathan said that many European travelers came to India during the time of Mughal Emperor Akbar and Jahangir. They also included William Finch and William Hawkins. He also wrote about Ayodhya in his description.
Vaidyanathan told the court, 'We are trying to say that even in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries people believed that Shri Ram was born there. Honorable court should also take cognizance of this fact. Because this is a proof that there was a temple already there, which was later demolished. This place has always been considered as the birthplace of Lord Shri Ram.
Vaidyanath said that Ayodhya was the capital of the Kosala Empire. Maharaja Dasaratha was the father of Lord Sri Rama, the hero of the Ramayana. Rama's court is the most sacred place because Sri Rama was born there. Which was later broken into a mosque.
The Muslim side, while objecting to the arguments of Ram Lala and Nirmohi Akhara, pointed to several shortcomings in the Archaeological Survey of India reports.
During the excavation at the disputed site, the Archaeological Survey of India found old artifacts, sculptures, pillars and other remains of the temple. The ASI in its report had said that the remains of a huge temple under the disputed structure, which was called Babri Masjid.
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Argument of muslim parties
The Supreme Court had asked the doctors of the Muslim side, Rajeev Dhawan and Meenakshi Arora, to object to the Muslim side objecting to the ASI report that if there were flaws in the Archaeological Survey report, Muslim parties questioned it during a hearing in the Allahabad High Court Why was it not raised? The court had said, "If you have not objected to the ASI report in the High Court, then you cannot question it here."
In response to this, Dr. Rajiv Dhawan said that we had definitely questioned the ASI report. But, then the Hon'ble High Court said that we will hear it at the end of the cross-examination, but, it never happened again.
Later, the Supreme Court accepted the argument of Muslim parties that if they had been given the opportunity to present another expert's report before the High Court against the ASI report, the court would have accepted it as well.
Dr. Rajiv Dhawan had argued that the Muslim side had not allowed the Muslim side to offer prayers since 1934 in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi (land dispute).
When Justice Bobde asked Dr. Rajiv Dhawan whether the Muslim parties had taken any action to offer prayers after the Hindus stopped offering Namaz? So Rajiv Dhawan had said that Muslims used to offer Namaz there every Friday. Apart from this, he did not offer Namaz at the disputed place.
Dr. Dhawan said that the keys of the mosque were only with the Muslims, but the police did not allow them to offer namaz in the days other than Friday. Dhawan said that since the seizure in 1950, the mosque was locked. And from then onwards, the police did not allow Muslim parties to offer Namaz on other days except Friday.
Muslim parties cited Babarnaam in front of the constitution bench of five judges and said that Babur had built the mosque.
Dr Rajeev Dhawan, a lawyer for Muslim parties, said in front of the court that, 'I am saying this in reference to Baburnama. I am referring to Babarnama and its translations that Babur had built the mosque.
Dr. Dhawan also said that the other parties cannot cite only a few parts of the official gazette. They cannot turn away from the facts in which it is written that Babur had built the mosque.
With the intention of further strengthening his claim on the land, Dr. Rajiv Dhawan also presented many documents, rock articles and other evidence before the court. Many of these were written by Allah in Arabic and Persian languages.
Cautioned for bearing
Dr. Dhawan also warned the court that if it agrees to the claim of birthplace, what will be its effect? धवन ने कहा कि जन्मस्थान का तर्क दो वजहों से दिया जा रहा है. एक तो मूर्ति पूजा के लिए दूसरा ज़मीन के लिए.
डॉक्टर राजीव धवन ने अदालत से कहा कि, 'ये लोगों की आस्था ही है, जो उन्हें जोड़ती है. अब सर्वोच्च अदालत को इस मामले में विचार करना है. हमें न्यायपालिका पर पूरा भरोसा है कि वो इस मसले को हल करेगी और इस बेहद संवेदनशील मामले में फ़ैसला सुनाएगी. जिससे इस विवाद से जुड़े सभी पक्षों का भला होगा.
(बीबीसी हिन्दी के एंड्रॉएड ऐप के लिए आप यहां क्लिक कर सकते हैं. आप हमें फ़ेसबुक, ट्विटर, इंस्टाग्राम और यूट्यूब पर फ़ॉलो भी कर सकते हैं.)