The Ayodhya Dispute is the core of the communal rift among the Hindus and the Muslims. It has been more than five decades that the dispute has constantly caused some or the other issues in the country. The said matter has taken up the center stage since the appointment of the new Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Yogi Adityanath.

The total land involves a plot of 2.77 acres in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. The conflict lies between the claims of the Hindus and Muslims. The Hindus claim emphasizes on the fact that the plot was the birthplace of Lord Rama, one of the most sacred places to the Hindus. On the other hand, Muslims argue the land houses the Babri Mosque, where they offered prayers for years before the dispute.

The dispute arises over whether the mosque was built on top of a Ram temple – after demolishing or modifying it in the 16th century. Muslims, on the other hand, say that the mosque is their sacred religious place – built by Mir Baqi in 1528 – and that Hindus desecrated it in 1949, when some people placed idols of Lord Ram inside the mosque, under the cover of darkness.

Notably, the dispute took a fierce face of violence on 16 December 1992 when Babri Masjid was demolished by around two lakh Karsevaks

Just ten days after the incident, on 16 December 1992, the government established the Liberhan Commission of India to investigate the demolition of the Babri Mosque.

The Liberhan commission investigating events leading up to the mosque’s demolition submitted its report after 17 years in June 2019. The report found many BJP leaders culpable including Atal Bihari Vajpayee, LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Kalyan Singh, Pramod Mahajan, Uma Bharti, and Vijayaraje Scindia, as well as VHP leaders like Giriraj Kishore and Ashok Singhal.

Earlier in 2010, the Allahabad High Court had said that there should be a partition of the Ayodhya land between the two parties. BJP leader Mr. Subramanian Swamy had urged the apex court to hear a batch of petitions challenging the Allahabad High Court order. The SC has asked Mr. Swamy to consult the parties and mention the matter on or before 31 March. However, the apex court stayed the High Courts’ judgment.

In September 2018, The Supreme Court says the matter is sensitive and should be settled out of court. It asks stakeholders to hold talks and find an amicable solution. A bench comprising Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said that they believed this ‘to be a better course of action than insisting on a judicial pronouncement.’

Latest Development

After the mediation talks have failed in the said dispute. The Supreme Court had ordered a day to day basis hearing of the case. The Supreme Court has commenced day-to-day hearing from August 6, 2019 in this politically sensitive case of Ram Janmabhoomi – Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi is conducting the hearing.

The bench, also comprising Justices S A Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer had on August 2 taken note of the report of the three-member mediation panel, headed by former apex court judge FMI Kalifulla, that the mediation proceedings which went on for about four months have not resulted in any final settlement.

Presently, the country is looking forward to the verdict of the Apex Court and expecting a peaceful outcome.

-Abhishek Khare
An Associate in Law Offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocates & Associates

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