New Delhi: In a historic and unanimous judgment, the Supreme Court has directed the Centre to form within three months a trust which will build a temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya. The 5-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, said the Sunni Waqf Board, which was a party to the title suit, should be given five acres alternate land to build a mosque.
At the heart of this judgment is a question of faith and history and the divine infant, Ram Lalla Virajman. Under the law, a Hindu deity can be considered a ‘juristic person’ with the right to be sued or to sue and the apex court began hearing the case, where Ram Lalla was a plaintiff, on August 6. Like other Hindu deities, the Ayodhya deity — the infant form of Lord Ram — was deemed a perpetual minor under law.
The idea of a Hindu deity as a juristic personality is unique. Unlike English common law, the Hindu deity gets its juristic personality from the piety of the worshippers. In this case, the infant Lord Rama was represented by his next ‘human’ friend, Triloki Nath Pandey — a senior VHP leader who is among the litigants in this case.
The deity first became a litigant in 1989, two years after the title case was moved out of civil court to the Allahabad High Court. At the time, Deoki Nandan Agarwal, a former judge of the Allahabad High Court had filed a plea seeking to become the ‘sakha’ or friend of the deity and its birthplace in the title suits. He was the working president of the VHP at the time.
Delivering the verdict, the apex court said the mosque should be constructed at a "prominent site" and a trust should be formed within three months for the construction of the temple at the site many Hindus believe Lord Ram was born.
The site was occupied by the 16th century Babri mosque which was destroyed by Hindu kar sevaks on December 6, 1992.
The bench, also comprising Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer, said possession of the disputed 2.77 acre land rights will handed over to the deity Ram Lalla, who is one of the three litigants in the case. The possession however will remain with a central government receiver.