Written byShalini Ojha
A five-judge constitutional bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, gave a unanimous decision in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute on Saturday.
CJI Gogoi, who read the judgment, handed over the disputed land to a Board of Trustees for the construction of Ram Mandir.
Further, they said a plot of 5 acres must be granted to Sunni Waqf Board to set up the mosque.
The sensitive matter had been in SC for years, and earlier this year, it finally gained momentum.
The top court was hearing a bunch of pleas that challenged the Allahabad High Court's order of splitting the 2.77 acres of land equally among thee claimants- Sunni Waqf Board, deity Ram Lalla, and Nirmohi Akhada.
The lower court had given its judgment in 2010.
Apart from CJI Gogoi, the bench also includes Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, SA Nazeer, and Ashok Bhushan.
The bench's head, fully knowing that the verdict might change India as we know it, held a meeting with top officials of UP to understand their preparedness.
To recall, after Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992, widespread riots sparked across the nation, killing thousands.
It's important to note that the bench also hoped that the matter would be solved amicably, hence, it formed a three-member panel headed by retired SC judge FMI Kalifulla for mediation.
The other members of the panel were spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu.
But when the panel failed, SC started daily hearings in August, ending it in October.
It's not every day that the top court delivers a verdict on Saturday, an off day. That SC went beyond its schedule only shows how important the matter is.
After the notification which specified the judgment would be out at 10:30 am, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked citizens to maintain peace.
He said the result won't be anyone's loss or victory.
"According the highest respect to the judiciary, various sections of society, social and cultural organizations and all parties have put in efforts in the last few days to maintain amity and positive atmosphere. This is very welcome," PM Modi said on Friday.
Among the other politicians who made a similar appeal were Congress' Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and his Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik.
CM Yogi Adityanath, whose state UP is on tenterhooks, also said harmony shouldn't be hampered with.
Reportedly, schools, colleges, etc. were ordered to remain shut in UP, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu, Karnataka, and Delhi.
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