Babri Mosque Demolition An Egregious Violation Of The Rule Of Law, Wrong Committed Must Be Remedied: SC [Read Judgment]
"Justice would not prevail if the Court were to overlook the entitlement of the Muslims who have been deprived of the structure of the mosque through means which should not have been employed in a secular nation committed to the rule of law."
The Supreme Court has observed that the damage to the Babri mosque in 1934, its desecration in 1949 leading to the ouster of the Muslims and the eventual destruction on 6th December 1992 constituted a serious violation of the rule of law.
In its unanimous judgment, the bench comprising of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justice SA Bobde, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, while directing that alternative site should be give to Muslims for construction of Mosque, observed:
The exclusion of the Muslims from worship and possession took place on the intervening night between 22/23 December 1949 when the mosque was desecrated by the installation of Hindu idols. The ouster of the Muslims on that occasion was not through any lawful authority but through an act which was calculated to deprive them of their place of worship. After the proceedings under Section 145 of CrPC 1898 were initiated and a receiver was appointed following the attachment of the inner courtyard, worship of the Hindu idols was permitted. During the pendency of the suits, the entire structure of the mosque was brought down in a calculated act of destroying a place of public worship. The Muslims have been wrongly deprived of a mosque which had been constructed well over 450 years ago.
On 6 December 1992, the structure of the mosque was brought down and the mosque was destroyed. The destruction of the mosque took place in breach of the order of status quo and an assurance given to this Court. The destruction of the mosque and the obliteration of the Islamic structure was an egregious violation of the rule of law;
Observing thus, the bench invoked Article 142 to 'ensure that a wrong committed must be remedied'. It said:
Suit 5 has been held to be maintainable at the behest of the first plaintiff (the deity of Lord Ram) who is a juristic person. The third plaintiff (next friend) has been held to be entitled to represent the the first plaintiff. We are of the view that on the one hand a decree must ensue in Suit 5, Suit 4 must also be partly decreed by directing the allotment of alternate land to the Muslims for the construction of a mosque and associated activities. The allotment of land to the Muslims is necessary because though on a balance of probabilities, the evidence in respect of the possessory claim of the Hindus to the composite whole of the disputed property stands on a better footing than the evidence adduced by the Muslims, the Muslims were dispossessed upon the desecration of the mosque on 22/23 December 1949 which was ultimately destroyed on 6 December 1992. There was no abandonment of the mosque by the Muslims. This Court in the exercise of its powers under Article 142 of the Constitution must ensure that a wrong committed must be remedied. Justice would not prevail if the Court were to overlook the entitlement of the Muslims who have been deprived of the structure of the mosque through means which should not have been employed in a secular nation committed to the rule of law. The Constitution postulates the equality of all faiths. Tolerance and mutual co-existnce nourish the secular commitment of our nation and its people.It said that land admeasuring 5 acres should be allotted to the Sunni Central Waqf Board either by the Central Government out of the acquired land or by the Government of Uttar Pradesh within the city of Ayodhya.
This exercise, and the consequent handing over of the land to the Sunni Central Waqf Board, shall be conducted simultaneously with the handing over of the disputed site comprising of the inner and outer courtyards as a consequence of the decree in Suit 5.
Rejected Contention That The Mosque Did Not Accord With Islamic Tenets
The submissions made by the Hindu side that the mosque did not accord with Islamic tenets were rejected by the Court. The Court noted that there was no abandonment of the mosque by Muslims and that the Namaz was observed on Fridays towards December 1949, the last namaz being on 16 December 1949. It said that the distinctive appearance of the structure with the three domes, the stone inscription with 'Allah', the mimbar and the mehrab, indicate that the disputed premise was constructed as a mosque