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Ayodhya: SC orders allotment of alternative land to Muslims for mosque

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The Supreme Court on Saturday pronounced its verdict in the politically sensitive case of Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya. The five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, includes Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer.

The Ayodhya dispute, India’s longest-running historical, political and socio-religious debate, culminated on Saturday when the country’s Supreme Court ruled on the title suit of the 2.77 acre land in this Uttar Pradesh town that is claimed both by Hindus and Muslims.

There was unprecedented security in Uttar Pradesh as well as other parts of India with Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that the judgement would not be anyone’s ‘victory or defeat’ but ‘would give strength to India’s tradition of peace, unity and amity’.

Here are highlights from the verdict:

* Sharp at 10.30 am, the 5-judge bench assembled to read out the verdict.

* The bench dismissed the appeal of the Shia Waqf Board, pronouncing an unanimous verdict in the case. Shia Waqf board’s claim was over the disputed structure. Court says the land is held by the government, according to revenue records.

* SC said the disputed land was government land in revenue records.

* SC referred to the content of the lawsuit of devotee Gopal Singh Visharad — the first to approach court in 1950 — seeking right to worship at the site.

* Top court held that Nirmohi Akhara’s suit is barred by limitation, not a shebait or devotee of deity Ram Lalla.

* SC lent credence to the archeological evidence on the disputed site.

* SC said that terming the archeological evidence as merely an opinion would be a great disservice to the Archeological Society of India.

* The Apex court said the Babri mosque was not built on vacant land. The underlying structure was not an Islamic structure.

* Court said the fact that there lied a temple beneath the destroyed structure has been established by the ASI.

* ASI had not established whether temple was demolished to build the mosque.

* Hindus consider this place as birthplace of lord Ram, even Muslims say this about disputed place: SC

* Faith of Hindus that Lord Rama was born at demolished structure is undisputed: SC

* The existence of Sita Rasoi, Ram Chabutra and Bhandar grih are the testimony of the religious fact of the place: SC

* Title cannot be established on ground of faith, belief; they are kind of indicator for deciding dispute: SC

* Evidence suggests Hindus were in possession of outer court yard, says SC

* Extensive nature of Hindus worshipping at outer courtyard at site has been there: SC

* Evidence suggest Muslims offered Friday prayers at mosque which indicates they have not lost possession: SC

* Despite obstruction caused in offering prayers at mosque, evidence suggest that there was no abandonment: SC

* Iron railing was set up at site in 1856-1857, it suggests Hindus kept worshipping at the site: SC

* Muslims have not adduced evidence they were in exclusive possession of dispute site: SC

* Muslims were not in possession of outer courtyard of the site: SC

* UP Sunni Central Waqf Board has failed to establish its case in Ayodhya dispute: SC

* On the contrary, Hindus established their case that they were in possession of outer courtyard: SC

* SC directs allotment of alternative land — of 5 acres — to Muslims to build new mosque.

* Damage to Babri mosque was violation of law: SC

* SC asks Centre to frame scheme within 3 months and set up a trust for construction of a temple.

* SC dismisses plea of Nirmohi Akhara seeking control of entire disputed land.

* Possession of disputed 2.77 acre land will remain with central government receiver for the temple: SC

* Centre, UP govt can monitor together future actions by authorities: SC

* SC grants entire 2.77 acre of disputed land in Ayodhya to deity Ram Lalla.

* SC directs Centre and UP govt to allot 5 acre land to the Muslims at a prominent place for building mosque.

* SC asks Centre to consider granting some kind of representation to Nirmohi Akhara in setting up of trust.

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PM pitches for ‘One Nation, One Election’ as need of India

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday pitched for ‘One Nation, One Election’, saying it is the need of India as polls taking place every few months impact development works.

Addressing the concluding session of the 80th All India Presiding Officers Conference via video conference, Modi also paid homage to the victims of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks and asserted that India is fighting terrorism now with new policy and new process.

Noting that it was the biggest terror strike on India, Modi said India can never forget the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

On November 26, 2008, ten Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists from Pakistan arrived through sea and opened fire, killing 166 people, including 18 security personnel, and injuring many during the 60-hour siege in Mumbai.

Pitching strongly for ‘One Nation, One Election’, Modi said it is not just a matter of debate, this is the need of India.

“Elections are held at different places every few months, the impact it has on development works is known to all. Therefore, it is a must to have deep study and deliberation on ‘One Nation, One Election’,” Modi said.

The prime minister also suggested a single voters’ list for Lok Sabha, assembly and panchayat polls, saying separate lists are a waste of resources.

Legislature, Executive and Judiciary should work with better coordination and national interest should be the basis for every decision, Modi said.

“We must remember that when politics take over people and nation-first policies, the nation has to pay adversely in such situations,” he said.

He also cited the example of delay in the completion of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, saying it kept lingering and was completed after years.

“This could have happened earlier if development was given precedence. Those who stalled it, have no repentance,” he said in a clear attack on the Congress.

Underlining that there is no place for politics of untouchability, Modi cited the example of the Statue of Unity built by his government for Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel despite him not being from the BJP or the Jana Sangh.

Constitution is our guiding light to take on challenges in the 21st century and national interest should be our basis for every decision, Modi said

He called for raising awareness about the Constitution.

“Our Constitution has many features but one very special feature is the importance given to duties. Mahatma Gandhi was very keen about this. He saw a close link between rights and duties. He felt that once we perform our duties, rights will automatically be safeguarded,” Modi said.

He also referred to the practice of KYC (know your customer) in the corporate world and said there should be a similar KYC drive in the form of Know Your Constitution to popularise the Constitution and its different features.

The All India Presiding Officers Conference began in 1921, and the Gujarat event marks its centenary year.

The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Harmonious Coordination between Legislature, Executive and Judiciary- Key to a Vibrant Democracy’.

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