Supreme Court stays ’strange’ Ayodhya verdict (Second Lead)

May 9th, 2011 - 3:36 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) Stating that it was a “strange and surprising” order, the Supreme Court Monday stayed the September 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment dividing the site of the razed Babri Mosque in Ayodhya into three parts.

“It is a rare judgement whose operation has to be stayed,” the apex court bench of Justices Aftab Alam and R.M. Lodha said about the Sep 30 ruling of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court that split the site of the Babri Masjid amongst the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhada and a Hindu party, ‘Ram Lalla’.

By directing the partition of the disputed site, the high court has given an “entirely new dimension to the case”, the apex court said.

“It was a strange and surprising order that was not prayed for by any of the parties and cannot be allowed to remain,” it said.

While ordering the stay, the bench said there was unanimity at least on the issue of the staying the operation of the high court verdict.

While admitting the appeals by all the parties, the Supreme Court said “status quo as a disputed site will remain as directed by the constitution bench of the apex court by its verdict of Jan 7, 1993 and that of March 13-14, 2002″.

The apex court had allowed worship at the makeshift temple at Ayodhya and restrained all the parties from carrying out any religious activities on the 67.703 acres of land acquired by the central government around the disputed site.

Besides dividing the land in Ayodhya, the centre of a 125-year-old dispute that has seen repeated clashes between Hindus and Muslims, the Allahabad High Court had also said that the site of the 16th century Babri Mosque was indeed the birthplace of the Hindu god Ram. The mosque was demolished by Hindu mobs on Dec 6, 1992, triggering nationwide riots.

A three-judge bench, comprising a Muslim and two Hindus, had ruled by majority that a Ram temple had been destroyed to build the Babri mosque in Ayodhya in the 16th century and so the mosque violated Islamic tenets.

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