The Allahabad high court's verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land title case was passed by a three-judge bench comprising of Justice Sibhghat Ullah Khan, Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Justice Dharam Veer Sharma on 30 September, 2010.
The judgment which was reserved on 3 August, 2010 was pronounced with majority decision of 2:1, and held that the 2.77 acres land located in Ayodhya will be divided into a three-way division — one-third for the Sunni Waqf Board, one-third for the Nirmohi Akhara and one-third to the party for 'Ram Lalla' or infant Ram represented by the Hindu Maha Sabha. Each of the three judges gave a summary and operative part of their own judgements separately and provided a detailed judgment as well which is of approximately 8000 pages. The court had also said that the status quo should be maintained for next three months before the partition of the land takes place on the basis of metes and bounds.
The three-judge bench held in their final judgment that no party could establish title over the land by way of documentary evidence, only the possession could be handed over by division. Hence the title over the land would be jointly held by the three main parties — Hindu parties, Nirmohia Akhara and the Muslim Parties.
Justice Khan had stated in his judgement that both Muslims and Hindus have failed to prove a title over the land. “Muslims have failed to prove that the land belonged to Babar under whose orders the mosque was constructed" and even the Hindus have not proved that there was a temple existed before the mosque was constructed.
According to the judgment the central dome of the three domed structure, where the makeshift idol was kept was the “place of birth of Lord Ram as per faith and belief of the Hindus" and so was allotted to the Hindus. Justice Sharma also stated that it shall not be “obstructed or interfered in any manner." The Hindu party had sought directions for building the Hindu temple covering the entire place with no access for Muslims as they argued that it was the Hindu temple’s ruins over which the Masjid was constructed.
The Nirmohi Akhara, a religious denomination, who was seeking the construction of Ram temple and wanted the complete management rights of the premises, was allotted the Ram Chabutra, Bhandar and Sita Rasoi structures located in the outer courtyard.
The Muslim party had sought directions for the restoration of the Babri Masjid as it was before it was demolished in 1992. They were allotted the remaining area amounting to the share of 1/3 both from the inner and outer courtyard.
The order had also clarified that all the three parties have been allotted one third share each, however if while allotting exact portions some minor adjustment in the share is to be made then the same will be made and the adversely affected party may be compensated by allotting some portion of the adjoining land which has been acquired by the Central Government.
The judgment had dissenting opinions yet the end result was upheld by the three Judges. Justice Khan had a dissenting opinion from the other two Justices. Justice Khan held that, “No temple was demolished for constructing the mosque. Mosque was constructed over the ruins of temples which were lying in utter ruins since a very long time before the construction of mosque and some material thereof was used in construction of the mosque"
Whereas, Justice Agarwal held that, “The building in dispute was constructed after demolition of Non-Islamic religious structure, i.e., a Hindu temple."
Holding the same view even Justice Sharma held that “The disputed structure was constructed on the site of old structure after demolition of the same. The Archaeological Survey of India has proved that the structure was a massive Hindu religious structure."
Interestingly, Justice Khan had written a small prelude before his detailed judgment stating that, “Here is a small piece of land (1500 square yards) where angels fear to tread. It is full of innumerable land mines. We are required to clear it. Some very sane elements advised us not to attempt that. We do not propose to rush in like fools lest we are blown. However, we have to take risk. It is said that the greatest risk in life is not daring to take risk when occasion for the same arises."
None of the three parties were satisfied with this judgement and appealed in the Supreme Court challenging this judgement. 11 other parties also filed special leave petitions before the Supreme Court challenging the 2010 Allahabad high court verdict. The Supreme Court stayed the verdict on 9 May, 2011 and held that status quo would remain.