Act/Law wise: Judgment of Supreme Court of India

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Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act, 1993
Section/Order/Article/Rule/Regulation Head Note
Sections 6 and 7

The Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act, 1993
Sections 6 and 7 read with
The Constitution of India
Article 142
Reliefs and directions–
We accordingly order and direct as follows:
1 (i) Suit 3 instituted by Nirmohi Akhara is held to be barred by limitation and shall accordingly stand dismissed;
(ii) Suit 4 instituted by the Sunni Central Waqf Board and other plaintiffs is held to be within limitation. The judgment of the High Court holding Suit 4 to be barred by limitation is reversed; and
(iii) Suit 5 is held to be within limitation.
2 Suit 5 is held to be maintainable at the behest of the first plaintiff who is represented by the third plaintiff. There shall be a decree in terms of prayer clauses (A) and (B) of the suit, subject to the following directions:
(i) The Central Government shall, within a period of three months from the date of this judgment, formulate a scheme pursuant to the powers vested in it under Sections 6 and 7 of the Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act 1993. The scheme shall envisage the setting up of a trust with a Board of Trustees or any other appropriate body under Section
6. The scheme to be framed by the Central Government shall make necessary provisions in regard to the functioning of the trust or body including on matters relating to the management of the trust, the powers of the trustees including the construction of a temple and all necessary, incidental and supplemental matters;
(ii) Possession of the inner and outer courtyards shall be handed over to the Board of Trustees of the Trust or to the body so constituted. The Central Government will be at liberty to make suitable provisions in respect of the rest of the acquired land by handing it over to the Trust or body for management and development in terms of the scheme framed in accordance with the above directions; and
(iii) Possession of the disputed property shall continue to vest in the statutory receiver under the Central Government, untill in exercise of its jurisdiction under Section 6 of the Ayodhya Act of 1993, a notification is issued vesting the property in the trust or other body.
3 (i) Simultaneously, with the handing over of the disputed property to the Trust or body under clause 2 above, a suitable plot of land admeasuring 5 acres shall be handed over to the Sunni Central Waqf Board, the plaintiff in Suit 4.
(ii) The land shall be allotted either by:
(a) The Central Government out of the land acquired under the Ayodhya Act 1993; or
(b) The State Government at a suitable prominent place in Ayodhya; The Central Government and the State Government shall act in consultation with each other to effectuate the above allotment in the period stipulated.
(iii) The Sunni Central Waqf Board would be at liberty, on the allotment of the land to take all necessary steps for the construction of a mosque on the land so allotted together with other associated facilities;
(iv) Suit 4 shall stand decreed to this extent in terms of the above directions; and
(v) The directions for the allotment of land to the Sunni Central Waqf Board in Suit 4 are issued in pursuance of the powers vested in this Court under Article 142 of the Constitution.
4 In exercise of the powers vested in this Court under Article 142 of the Constitution, we direct that in the scheme to be framed by the Central Government, appropriate representation may be given in the Trust or body, to the Nirmohi Akhara in such manner as the Central Government deems fit.
5 The right of the plaintiff in Suit 1 to worship at the disputed property is affirmed subject to any restrictions imposed by the relevant authorities with respect to the maintenance of peace and order and the performance of orderly worship.
All the appeals shall stand disposed of in the above terms. Parties are left to bear their own costs.
Acknowledgments
In crafting this judgment, the forensic contest before this Court has provided a valuable insight in navigating through the layers of complexity of the case. The erudition of counsel, their industry, vision and above all, dispassionate objectivity in discharging their role as officers of the court must be commended. We acknowledge the assistance rendered by Mr K Parasaran and Dr Rajeev Dhavan, learned Senior Counsel who led the arguments. Their fairness to the cause which they espouse and to their opponents as, indeed, to the court during the course of the hearings has facilitated the completion of the hearings in the spirit that all sides have ultimately been engaged in the search of truth and justice.
The other learned Senior Counsel whose efforts need to be acknowledged are: Mr C S Vaidyanathan, Mr S K Jain, Mr Ranjit Kumar, Mr Zafaryab Jilani, Ms Meenakshi Arora, Mr Shekhar Naphade and Mr P S Narasimha. We also acknowledge the assistance rendered to the court by Mr P N Mishra, Mr Mohd Nizamuddin Pasha, Mr V N Sinha, Mr Hari Shankar Jain, Mr Jaideep Gupta (learned Senior Counsel), Mr Vikas Singh (learned Senior Counsel), Mr M C Dhingra, and Mr Anoop Bose. While acknowledging the scholarly contributions made by the arguing counsel both in their oral arguments and written submissions, we must equally notice the sincerity and dedication of the learned assisting counsel and among them the industry of the junior counsel.
One of us, while being in agreement with the above reasons and directions, has recorded separate reasons on: “Whether the disputed structure is the birth-place of Lord Ram according to the faith and belief of the Hindu devotees”. The reasons of the learned judge are set out in an addendum. …M Siddiq =VS= Mahant Suresh Das (Babri Masjid Case), (Civil), 2019 (2) [7 LM (SC) 11] ....View Full Judgment

INDEX (Babri Masjid Case)
A. Introduction (Para: 1-32)
B. An overview of the suits (Para: 33-43)
C. Evidence: a bird‘s eye view (Para: 44-45)
D. The aftermath of 1856-7 (Para: 46-49)
D.1 Response to the wall
D.2 Period between 1934-1949
E. Proceedings under Section 145 (Para: 50-52)
F. Points for determination (Para: 52)
G. The three inscriptions (Para: 53-68)
H. Judicial review and characteristics of a mosque in Islamic law (Para: 69-77)
I. Places of Worship Act (Para: 78-85)
J. Juristic personality (Para: 86-205)
J.1 Development of the law
J.2 Idols and juristic personality
J.3 Juristic personality of the first plaintiff
J.4 Juristic personality of the second plaintiff
K. Analysis of the suits (Para: 206)
L. Suit 1: Gopal Singh Visharad (Para: 207-216)
L.1 Pleadings
L.2 Issues and findings of the High Court
L.3 Analysis
M. Suit 3: Nirmohi Akhara (Para: 217-307)
M.1 Pleadings
M.2 Conflict between Suit 3 and Suit 5
M.3 Issues and findings of the High Court
M.4 Limitation in Suit 3
M.5 Oral testimony of the Nirmohi witnesses
M.6 Nirmohi Akhara‘s claim to possession of the inner courtyard Documentary evidence in regard to the mosque (1934-1949)
N. Suit 5: The deities (Para: 308-598)
N.1 Array of parties
N.2 No contest by the State of Uttar Pradesh
N.3 Pleadings
N.4 Written statements
N.5 Issues and findings of the High Court
N.6 Shebaits: an exclusive right to sue?
A suit by a worshipper or a person interested
Nirmohi Akhara and shebaiti rights
N.7 Limitation in Suit 5
The argument of perpetual minority
N.8 The Suit of 1885 and Res Judicata
N.9 Archaeological report
N.10 Nature and use of the disputed structure: oral evidence
N.11 Photographs of the disputed structure
N.12 Vishnu Hari inscriptions
N.13 The polestar of faith and belief
Travelogues, gazetteers and books
Evidentiary value of travelogues, gazetteers and books
N.14 Historian‘s report
O. Suit 4: Sunni Central Waqf Board (Para:599-787)
O.1 Analysis of the plaint
O.2 Written statements
O.3 Issues and findings of the High Court
O.4 Limitation in Suit 4
O.5 Applicable legal regime and Justice, Equity and Good Conscience
O.6 Grants and recognition
O.7 Disputes and cases affirming possession
Impact of Suit of 1885
Incidents between 1934 and 1950
O.8 Proof of namaz
O.9 Placing of idols in 1949
O.10 Nazul land
O.11 Waqf by user
O.12 Possession and adverse possession
O.13 Doctrine of the lost grant
O.14 The smokescreen of the disputed premises – the wall of 1858
O.15 Analysis of evidence in Suit 4
O.16 The Muslim claim to possessory title
P. Analysis on title (Para: 788-804)
P.1 Marshalling the evidence in Suit 4 and Suit 5
P.2 Conclusion on title
Q. Reliefs and directions (Para: 805-806)
…M Siddiq =VS= Mahant Suresh Das (Babri Masjid Case), (Civil), 2019 (2) [7 LM (SC) 11] ....View Full Judgment