Damage, desecration & demolition of Babri Masjid illegal acts, says SC


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Saturday emphatically said that the communal riot that caused damage to the domes of Babri Masjid in 1934, its desecration on the night of December 22, 1949, by placing of idols and the demolition on December 6, 1992, were illegal acts, a conclusion which persuaded it to balance awarding the disputed site for Ram temple with five acres of land for a mosque in Ayodhya.
“Damage to the mosque in 1934, its desecration in 1949 leading to ouster of the Muslims and its eventual destruction on December 6, 1992, constituted a serious violation of the rule of law; and consistent with the principles of justice, equity and good conscience, both Suits 4 (Sunni Waqf Board) and 5 (by deity through next friend) will have to be decreed and relief moulded in a manner which preserves the constitutional values of justice, fraternity, human dignity and the equality of religious belief,” the bench said.
The SC noted that the fight between Hindus and Muslims for possession of the inner courtyard of Babri Masjid led to the communal conflict of 1934 during which the domes and structure of the mosque sustained damage.
“The repair and renovation of the mosque following the riots of 1934 at the expense of the British administration through the agency of a Muslim contractor is indicative of the fact the despite the disputes between the communities, the structure of the mosque continued to exist as did the assertion of the Muslims of their right to pray,” it said.
“The events preceding December 22-23, 1949, indicate the build-up of a large presence of Bairagis in the outer courtyard and the expression of his apprehension by the superintendent of police that the Hindus would seek forcible entry into the precincts of the mosque to install idols. In spite of written intimations to him, the deputy commissioner and district magistrate (K K Nayyar) paid no heed and rejected the apprehension of the superintendent of police to the safety of the mosque as baseless,” the apex court noted.
“The apprehension was borne out by the incident on the night between December 22-23, 1949, when a group of 50 to 60 persons installed idols on the pulpit of the mosque below the central dome. This led to the desecration of the mosque and the ouster of the Muslims… The inner courtyard was thereafter attached in proceedings under Section 145 CrPC, 1898, on December 29, 1949 and the receiver took possession,” it recorded.
“On December 6, 1992, the structure of the mosque was brought down. The destruction of the mosque took place in breach of the order of status quo and an assurance given to this court. The destruction of the mosque and the obliteration of the Islamic structure was an egregious violation of the rule of law,” the SC said.


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