11 November, 2019
4 Min Read
Syllabus subtopic: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
News: The constitution bench led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi delivered the Ayodhya verdict alongside CJI designate S.A. Bobde, and Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S.A. Nazeer. The verdict was unanimous.
Prelims focus: Details of the case and the judgment.
Mains focus: Implications of the judgement and significance of the precedent it has set.
About the issue
About the verdict:
About the Article 142:
The Supreme Court, implicitly referring to the demolition of the Babri Masjid at the disputed site, said that it was invoking Article 142 “to ensure that a wrong committed must be remedied”.
Article 142(1) states that “The Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it, and any decree so passed or order so made shall be enforceable throughout the territory of India in such manner as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament and, until provision in that behalf is so made, in such manner as the President may by order prescribe”.
The European travellers quoted by the SC judges in the judgment
In its judgment, the Supreme Court relied in part on centuries-old travelogues, gazetteers and books to provide an account of the faith and belief that the Hindus placed in the Janmasthan. The travelogues that the court took note of included, among others, those by the European travellers Joseph Tieffenthaler, William Finch, and Montgomery Martin – these being written before the building of the grill-brick wall in front of the mosque during British rule.
About the adverse possession and the Muslim claim rejected by SC
One of the questions before the Supreme Court was whether the Sunni Waqf Board had acquired the title of the disputed land by adverse possession.
Adverse possession is hostile possession of a property – which has to be continuous, uninterrupted and peaceful.
The Muslim side had claimed that the mosque was built 400 years ago by Babar – and that even if it is assumed that it was built on the land where a temple earlier existed, Muslims, by virtue of their long exclusive and continuous possession – beginning from the time the mosque was built, and up to the time the mosque was desecrated – they had perfected their title by adverse possession. This argument has now been rejected by the Supreme Court.
Source: The Hindu
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