SC stays Allahabad HC verdict on Babri masjid dispute

The Supreme Court has just stayed the Allahabad High Court's verdict on the Ayodhya title dispute.

The high court had divided the title among three litigants, which the Supreme Court has found unwarranted.

"This is very strange and surprising.  Nobody has prayed for partition of the area. The Allahabad High Court has given a new relief which was not sought by anybody," the Supreme Court said today. The high court verdict, delivered in September 2010, had been challenged by various groups.

The three-judge bench in Allahabad had ruled in a majority 2:1 judgment that the disputed land be given to the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and the deity 'Ram Lalla'. Each of these were to get a third of the land. The high court had also accepted the disputed area as the birth spot of the deity Ram.

The Supreme Court has now forbidden religious activity on the 67-acre area adjacent to the disputed site.

A dispute has raged for about 60 years over whether the 2.7 acres on which the Babri Masjid stood belongs to the Hindus or to the Muslims.

The masjid was demolished by Hindu groups on December 6, 1992, after the BJP had made it an election plank with support from the Sangh Parivar.