Babri Masjid land: SC tells parties to ensure status quo

The Supreme Court on Monday told all authorities and parties to the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case to ensure the status quo that was ordered on 67 acres of land adjacent to the disputed site in Ayodhya.

In September 2010, the Allahabad High Court in a majority judgment had ruled for a three-way division of the "roughly 15,000 sq ft site" occupied by the mosque before it was demolished on December 6, 1992. The court had allotted one-third land each to Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and to the party representing "Ram Lalla".

However, the apex court, while admitting a batch of petitions on the matter, had ordered status quo on the title of the disputed land in May 2011. "We are hopeful that this status quo will continue. While doing the excavation this status quo should not be disturbed," said a Bench led by Justice Aftab Alam when it took up for hearing some applications in the matter. The hearing however had to be adjourned since all the parties had not received copies of the applications.

There were two applications to be heard by the court. Moving an application to be impleaded as a party in the bunch of appeals against the 2010 HC verdict, the Registrar General of the HC has sought a clarification if the observers, appointed by it for "maintenance of the transparency" of the excavation proceedings at the disputed site in Ayodhya, were still required to visit the site and file reports.

The two observers, then additional district judges, were appointed by the HC by an order in March 2003 when it ordered the Archaeological Survey of India to excavate the disputed site to confirm the third issue framed in the civil suits: "whether there was any temple/structure which was demolished and mosque was constructed on the disputed site."

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