New Delhi: The verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land title case will be delivered on Saturday morning by Supreme Court Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, bringing to a close one of modern India’s longest-running Hindu-Muslim disputes.
The Supreme Court website uploaded a notice late Friday evening saying the judgment will be delivered at 10.30 am in the Chief Justice’s court room No. 1 by the five-judge constitutional bench presided over by him.
The other members of the bench are justices S.A. Bobde, D.Y. Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer.
Gogoi, who demits office on 17 November, had a meeting with the chief secretary and director general of police of Uttar Pradesh on Friday afternoon to review the law and order situation in the state ahead of the Ayodhya verdict.
Already, thousands of state police personnel have fanned out across Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.
The five-judge bench began daily hearings in the Ayodhya land dispute case on 6 August after an attempt at mediation between Hindu and Muslim claimants failed. The hearings ended on 16 October.
The three main parties to the dispute have each presented a different demand to the court.
The Nirmohi Akhara, a religious denomination, has sought directions to construct a Ram temple on the disputed land in Ayodhya and wants the management rights of the premises to be given to it. Ram Lalla (or the infant Ram), represented by the Hindu Mahasabha, wants the entire land to be handed over to them, with no part going to Muslim parties or the Nirmohi Akhara.
The Sunni Waqf Board, which looks after religious properties, has demanded that the Babri Masjid be restored to the form that existed before it was brought down by Hindu groups on 6 December 1992.
Fourteen appeals had been filed before the Supreme Court against a 2010 Allahabad high court judgment, which had said that the disputed 2.77 acres should be equally divided among the three litigants.
“Nirmohi Akhara is the oldest litigant in the case, we have presented our evidence before the Supreme Court and we are hopeful that the evidence will be well studied. We are confident about the verdict," Nirmohi Akhara spokesperson Kartik Chopra said on Friday.
Navaid Hamid, president of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, a forum for Islamic organizations, told Reuters: “The land can belong to Hindus or Muslims, but there will be no repeat of the 1992 communal violence."