While delivering the verdict in the Ayodhya land dispute case, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi held that the Allahabad High Court was wrong in ordering a three-way division of the land the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla in 2010. The Constitution bench of the SC, comprising of the Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer gave a unanimous verdict in the Ayodhya case, ruling that the disputed land belonged to the Hindu parties. It directed the Centre to formulate a scheme within three months to set up a trust in this regard.
After the trust has been constituted, it would get the possession of the entire disputed area including the inner and outer courtyard from the Centre for the construction of a temple. Moreover, the SC ordered that an alternative plot of 5 acres in Ayodhya would be allocated to the Sunni Waqf Board for building the mosque. Meanwhile, the Constitution bench dismissed the claims of the Sunni Waqf Board and the Nirmohi Akhara.
There has been a longstanding legal dispute about the ownership of land in Ayodhya, which is considered as the birthplace of Lord Ram. The Babri Masjid, which was constructed at that disputed site in the 16th century was demolished on December 6, 1992. The Allahabad High Court gave its judgement in 2010, partitioning the 2.77 acre land. 14 appeals were filed in the SC against this judgement of the Allahabad High Court. Ultimately, the Constitution bench of the SC reserved its verdict on October 16, after hearing the matter continuously for 40 days. The Ayodhya mediation panel headed by former SC Justice Kalifulla, senior advocate Sriram Panchu, and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar also submitted its report to the SC outlining its proposals to solve the dispute.