Sunday, November 10, 2019

Nov 9 2019 SC Judgement on Ayodhya Dispute Part B to G excerpts

The following are excerpts from Part B to G running  up to 84 pages of 1045 pages

44. A wealth of material emerged before the court during the course of the trial. The judgment of Justice Sudhir Agarwal in the High Court copiously tabulates the documentary evidence13. The documentary exhibits of the parties during the course of trial comprised of 533 exhibits
These exhibits broadly comprise of : (i) Religious texts; (ii) Travelogues; (iii) Gazetteers; (iv) Translations of inscriptions on pillars; (v) Reports of Archaeological excavation; (vi) Photographs prior to demolition; and (vii) Details of artefacts found at the disputed site
45…..There is, in other words, no dispute before this Court in regard to the faith and belief of the Hindus that the birth of Lord Ram is ascribed to have taken place at Ayodhya, as described in Valmiki‘s Ramayan. What is being disputed is whether the disputed site below the central dome of the Babri Masjid is the place of birth of Lord Ram. The Muslim parties have expressly denied the existence of a Ram Janmabhumi temple at the site of Babri Masjid. With this background, it becomes necessary to advert to the salient aspects of the documentary evidence which has emerged on the record.
47. In 1934, there was another communal incident in the course of which damage was sustained to the mosque which was subsequently restored. The documentary evidence which has been brought on record shows that : (i) The colonial administration sanctioned the work of repair and renovation of the damaged structure of the mosque; (ii) A fine was imposed on the Hindus for the damage which was caused to the mosque; (iii) The work of restoration was entrusted to a Muslim contractor with whom there was an exchange of correspondence over the payment of unpaid bills and for verification of work done; (iv) This was a claim by the Pesh Imam of the mosque over the payment of the arrears of salary with the Mutawalli; and (v) Upon the work of repair, the administration permitted arrangements to be made for commencement of namaz.
48. A series of incidents took place between March and December 1949. On 19 March 1949, a deed was executed by the Panches of Nirmohi Akhara purportedly to reduce into writing the customs of the Akhara. This document25 included the following provision in regard to ―the temple of Janmabhoomi of which the management was claimed to vest in the Akhara: ―Temple of Janam Bhoomi is situate in Mohalla Ram Ghat of City, Ayodhya which is under the Baithak of this Akhara and its whole management is trust upon to this Akhara. It stands in name of Mahant of Akhara as Mahant and Manager. This is the best well reputed, moorty of worship temple of Ayodhya. Being the birthplace of Lord Rama, it is the main temple of Ayodhya. The deity of Shri Ram Lalaji is installed there and there are other deities also.
49…Hence, in this backdrop, it is necessary to set out the events that led to the incident which took place on 22-23 December 1949: (i) On 12 November 1949, a police picket was posted in the area; (ii) On 29 November 1949, Kripal Singh who was the Superintendent of Police at Faizabad addressed a letter to K K Nayar, the Deputy Commissioner and District Magistrate, Faizabad stating: ―I visited the premises of Babri mosque and the Janm Asthan in Ajodhya this evening. I noticed that several ―Hawan Kunds have been constructed all around the mosque. Some of them have been built on old constructions already existing there.
I found bricks and lime also lying near the Janm Asthan. They have a proposal to construct a very big Havan Kund where Kirtan and Yagna on Puranmashi will be performed on a very large scale. Several thousand Hindus, Bairagis and Sadhus from outside will also participate. They also intend to continue the present Kirtan till Puranmashi. The plan appears to be to surround the mosque in such a way that entry for the Muslims will be very difficult and ultimately they might be forced to abandon the mosque. There is a strong rumour, that on puranmashi the Hindus will try to force entry into the mosque with the object of installing a deity. (Emphasis supplied)
(iv) On 16 December 1949, K K Nayyar addressed a communication to Govind Narayan who was Home Secretary to the Government of Uttar Pradesh, stating that there was a ―magnificent temple at the site which had been constructed by Vikramaditya, which was demolished by Babur for the construction of a mosque, known as Babri Masjid. The letter stated that building material of the temple was used in the construction of the mosque and that a long time had elapsed before Hindus were again restored to the possession of a site therein, at the corner of two walls
(v) On the night between 22-23 December 1949, Hindu idols were surreptitiously placed inside Babri Masjid by a group of 50-60 persons. An FIR was lodged, complaining of the installation of idols inside the inner courtyard of the disputed site. The FIR, complaining of offences under Sections 147, 295, 448 of the Indian Penal Code was lodged at 7:00 pm on 23 December 1949 by Ram Deo Dubey, Sub-Inspector in charge. The FIR recorded that on information received from Mata Prasad, Constable No. 7, the complainant had arrived at the disputed site at 7:00 am and learned that a crowd of 50 or 60 persons had broken the locks placed on the compound of the mosque and had placed the idols inside, besides inscribing the names of Hindu deities on the walls. Thereafter, 5000 people had gathered to perform Kirtan. It was alleged that Abhay Ram Das, Ram Shukul Das, Sheo Darshan Dass and about 50 or 60 persons had committed an act of trespass by entering the mosque and installing idols, thereby desecrating the mosque.
(vi) K K Nayyar opposed the direction of the state government to remove the idols, fearing a loss of life. On 25 December 1949, K K Nayar recorded that puja and bhog was offered as usual. In spite of the directions to remove the idols, K K Nayar declined to do so stating that ―if Government still insisted that removal should be carried out in the face of these facts, I would request to replace me by another officer;
50. On 29 December 1949, a preliminary order was issued under Section 145 of the CrPC 1898 by the Additional City Magistrate, Faizabad cum Ayodhya. Simultaneously, treating the situation as involving an emergency, an order of attachment was issued and the disputed site was directed to be entrusted to Sri Priya Datt Ram who was the Chairman of the Municipal Board. The order dated 29 December 1949 is extracted below: ―Whereas I, Markendeya Singh, Magistrate First Class and Additional City Magistrate, Faizabad-cum-Ayodhya, am fully satisfied from information received from Police sources and from other credible sources that a dispute between Hindus and Muslims in Ayodhya over the question of rights of proprietorship and worship in the building claimed variously as Babari Masjid and Janam Bhoomi Mandir, situate at Mohalla Ram Kot within the local limits of my jurisdiction, is likely to lead to a breach of the peace. I hereby direct the parties described below namely: (1) Muslims who are bona fide residents of Ayodhya or who claim rights of proprietorship or worship in the property in dispute; (2) Hindus who are bona fide residents of Ahodhya or who claim rights of proprietorship or worship in the property in dispute; to appear before me on 17th day of January at 11 A.M. at Ayodhya Police Station in person or by pleader and put in written statements of their respective claims with regard to the fact of actual possession of the subject of dispute. And the case being one of the emergency I hereby attach the said buildings pending decision.
51. The receiver took charge on 5 January 1950 and made an inventory of the properties which had been attached. The last namaz which was offered in the mosque was on 16 December 1949. The receiver made an inventory of the
following articles: ―1. Idols of Thakur Ji 1-(a) Two idols of Sri Ram Lala Ji, one big and another small. (b) Six idols of Sri Shaligram Ji. 2 . A two feet high silver throne. 3. One idol of Hanuman Ji. 4 (a) One glass of German Silver. (b) One small glass of silver. (c) One big glass of silver 5. One Garun bell. 6. One incensory. 7. One Arti vessel. 8. One lamp stand 9. ―Husra and one sandal. 10. Two big photographs of Ram Janki. 11. Four flower pots. 12. One (small) photograph of Badrinath Ji. 13. One small photograph of Ramchandra Ji. 14. Ornaments of Deity Two caps of Ramlala and one cap of Hanuman Ji. And eight robes of Deity. 15. Building- Three domed building with Courtyard and boundary wall, which is bounded as under. North-Premises comprising Chhathi Courtyard and Nirmohi Akhara. South-Vacant land and ―Parikrama (circumambulation path) East-‗Chabutara‘ (platform) of Ram temple under possession of Nirmohi Akhara, and Courtyard of temple premises. West-Parikrama‘ (circumambulation path) 16. Small brass glass 17. One bowl of ―Phool (an alloy) for sandal. 18. ―Panch Pas and one brass plate. 19. One small brass plate. 20. One small wooden board.
(iii) (a) Whether a Hindu temple existed at the disputed site; (b) Whether the temple was demolished by Babur or at his behest by his commander Mir Baqi in 1528 for the construction of the Babri Masjid; (c) Whether the mosque was constructed on the remains of and by using the materials of the temple; and (d) What, if any are the legal consequences arising out of the determination on (a)(b) and (c) above; (iv) Whether the suit property is according to the faith and belief of the Hindus since time immemorial the birth-place of Lord Ram;
(viii) (a) Whether it is open to the Court to determine if the three domed structure which existed at the disputed site prior to 6 December 1992 was a mosque in accordance with Islamic tenets; (b) If the answer to (a) is in the affirmative, whether the three domed structure at the disputed site was constructed in accordance with Islamic tenets;
(xiv) Whether the High Court was justified in passing a preliminary decree for a three way division of the disputed property in equal shares between the Nirmohi Akhara, the plaintiffs of Suit 4 and the plaintiffs of Suit 5;


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