The Supreme Court order on the Ram Janmabhoomi running into over 1000 pages, said that dispute essentially boils down to the claim over land and is not a matter of faith.
“The dispute is over immovable property. The court does not decide title on the basis of faith or belief but on the basis of evidence. The law provides us with parameters as clear but as profound as ownership and possession. In deciding title to the disputed property, the court applies settled principles of evidence to adjudicate upon which party has established a claim to the immovable property,” the Supreme Court order said.
The 5-judge constitutional bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi ruled that there was no evidence offered by Muslims to the disputed inner structure prior to 1857 since the date of the construction, of the now razed Babri Majid, in the sixteenth century.
“As regards the inner courtyard, there is evidence on a preponderance of probabilities to establish worship by the Hindus prior to the annexation of Oudh by the British in 1857. The Muslims have offered no evidence to indicate that they were in exclusive possession of the inner structure prior to 1857 since the date of the construction in the sixteenth century,” the order read.
“…there is evidence to show that namaz was offered in the structure of the mosque and the last Friday namaz was on 16 December 1949. The exclusion of the Muslims from worship and possession took place on the intervening night between 22/23 December 1949 when the mosque was desecrated by the installation of Hindu idols,” the apex court ruled.
The Supreme Court also maintained that the razing of the Babri Majid and the placing of Hindu idols was illegal. “The ouster of the Muslims on that occasion was not through any lawful authority but through an act which was calculated to deprive them of their place of worship.
After the proceedings under Section 145 of CrPC 1898 were initiated and a receiver was appointed following the attachment of the inner courtyard, worship of the Hindu idols was permitted. During the pendency of the suits, the entire structure of the mosque was brought down in a calculated act of destroying a place of public worship. The Muslims have been wrongly deprived of a mosque which had been constructed well over 450 years ago,” the order read.