Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) supremo HD Deve Gowda welcomed the verdict of the 5-member Constitution bench in the Ayodhya title suit on Saturday. He observed that it was a balanced decision. Earlier, in the day, the bench comprising of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer delivered a unanimous judgement awarding the 2.77 acres disputed territory in Ayodhya to the Hindu parties.
The former Prime Minister said, "The decision is a balancing decision which I welcome."
There has been a longstanding dispute about the land in question, which is considered as the birthplace of Lord Ram. On December 6, 1992, the Babri Masjid, which was constructed at that disputed site in the 16th century was demolished. This led to a lot of communal strife in the country. Subsequently, the Allahabad High Court gave its judgement on this matter in 2010 partitioning the area among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. The Constitution bench of the SC heard the matter continuously for 40 days before reserving the verdict on October 16. In another development, 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.
The SC in its verdict directed the Centre to formulate a scheme within three months which will be responsible for building a temple. On the other hand, the SC ordered that an alternative land of five acres in Ayodhya would be given to the Sunni Central Waqf Board for the construction of a mosque. Moreover, the claims put forth by Nirmohi Akhara and the Sunni Central Waqf Board were dismissed. Also, the court concluded that the three-way bifurcation by the Allahabad High Court was “legally unsustainable”.