Supreme Court Orders Centre To Set Up Trust for Temple Construction

The Supreme Court’s landmark judgment on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute caps a legal battle that has festered for decades. Courtesy: PTI

The Supreme Court on Saturday cleared the way for a temple to be built at the disputed plot of land in Ayodhya where the Babri Masjid stood before its demolition, and which Hindus consider to be the birthplace of Lord Ram.

But the court also said the Sunni Waqf Board, one of the litigants in the Ayodhya title suit, should get 5 acres of land within the city for a mosque.

The disputed land, measuring 2.77 acres, will now remain with a statutory receiver until the central government sets up a board of trustees to deal with temple construction and other issues. The Supreme Court has given the government three months to establish the trust.

The judgment, which was delivered by a five-judge Constitution bench, was unanimous; it caps a legal battle that has festered for decades. It took around 30 minutes to read out in a jam-packed Courtroom No. 1.

The full text of the judgment runs to 1,045 pages. (You can read it here.)


The Supreme Court heard appeals filed against a 2010 judgment by the Allahabad High Court that divided the disputed site between the Ram Lalla, the Sunni Waqf Board and the Nirmohi Akhara. When mediation proceedings failed, the court began day-to-day proceedings on August 6.

The Supreme Court dismissed the Nirmohi Akhara’s suit on Friday, but asked that it be given “appropriate representation” in the trust “in such manner as the Central Government deems fit”.

The Nirmohi Akhara said it had no regrets. “The court has accepted Ram Lalla’s side and with this, our motive was fulfilled,” Mahant Dharmdas, a member, told PTI.

Sunni Waqf Board lawyer Zafaryab Jilan said the board respected the judgment but wasn’t satisfied with it.

“It has lot of contradictions. We will seek a review,” he said.

Inputs from PTI

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