Supreme Court stays Babri Masjid-Ramjanmbhoomi verdict

New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) Calling it a strange and surprising order, the Supreme Court Monday stayed the Allahabad High Court's verdict on the Babri Masjid-Ramjanmbhoomi disputed site by which it had directed the site be divided equally between the three contending parties.

Assailing the judgment of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, the apex court bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice R.M. Lodha Monday said that by directing the partition of the disputed site, the high court has given an entirely new dimension to the case.

'It is a rare judgement whose operation has to be stayed,' the court said.

'It was a strange and surprising order that was not prayed for by any of the parties and cannot be allowed to remain,' it said.

While admitting the appeals by all the parties, the court said that 'status quo as a disputed site will remain as directed by the constitution bench of the apex court by its verdict of Jan 7 1993 and that of March 13-14, 2002'.

While ordering the stay, the apex court bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice R.M. Lodha said that at least on the issue of the staying the operation of the high court verdict, there is a unanimity.

The apex court had allowed worship at the makeshift temple at Ayodhya and restrained all the parties from carrying out any religious activities on the 67.703 acres of land that was acquired by the central government around the disputed site.

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Sep 30, 2010, ruled that the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was built on a site after demolishing a temple on it way back in 1528, and that the spot where a makeshift temple to Ram Lulla was built after razing the mosque in 1992 was indeed where Hindu god Ram was born.

The Lucknow bench ordered that the land around the disputed site would be divided into three parts -- one for Hindus, another for Muslims and the third for Nirmohi Akhara, a Hindu sect and an original litigant in the case.