The Supreme Court has called partitioning of the 2.77-acre Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri masjid site in three equal parts by the Allahabad high court “strange” and put a stay on it on Monday. It wondered how the high court passed a “decree of partition when none of the parties had prayed for it”.
A holy man rides a motorcycle as policemen stand guard on a street in Ayodhya.
The contesting parties — Sunni Wakf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla Virajman (the idol) — expressed their opposition after the high court verdict was out on September 30, 2010 and moved the SC.
A three-judge Lucknow bench of the high court had delivered three judgments. The majority verdict held that both Hindus and Muslims were joint owners of the disputed plot. It said the central dome of the three-domed structure, where the idol of Ram was situated, belonged to Hindus.
On Monday, the SC ordered status quo. It said the high court “has done something on its own. It’s strange. It has to be stayed…”
Although the appeals referred only to 2.77 acres of the disputed land, the SC restrained any religious activity on the 67 acres adjacent to it that’s been acquired by the Centre. Prayers at Ram Lalla’s makeshift temple, however, will continue.
Waqf Board counsel Zafaryab Jilani said on Monday: “We are satisfied with the SC order. This will help maintain peace.” At the beginning of the proceedings, the SC asked if any one of the appellants favoured the high court verdict. When they all said no, it quipped, “At least there is unanimity on it.”