"Faith is a matter of individual believer. Once the court has the material that the faith is genuine, the court must not interfere and acknowledge it. Value of a secular Constitution lies in mutual deference," the Supreme Court says.
The Sunni Waqf Board's suit is maintainable, but Muslims can't assert the right of adverse possession, says the Supreme Court.
Regarding Sri Ram Lalla Virajman's petition, the Supreme Court says that mere existence of a structure beneath the mosque cannot lead to a title today even if the SC finds that it was a Hindu temple. "There was no cessation of namaz or abandonment of structure by the Muslims," the SC says.
"It is clearly established that while Muslims offered prayers inside the inner courtyard, the same was done by Hindus in the outer courtyard. Prior to 1856-57, there was no exclusion of Hindus from praying there. Exodus of Hindus from the inner courtyard remained contentious too. They continued to worship at Ram Chabutara and they worshipped the Garbh GiRja from the railings," says the SC.
The riots of 1934 and disturbances in 1949 show possession of inner courtyard was a matter of contestation. It can't be said Muslims have been able to establish their possessory title, the Constitution bench of the Supreme Court says.
But documents show that prior to 1857, Hindus were not barred from worshipping in the inner courtyard. The railings segregating the outer and inner courtyard was made in 1857. But Hindus always believed that the birthplace of Ram was in the inner courtyard of the mosque, says SC
For 325 years, from the construction of the mosque till 1857, Muslims have given no evidence of offering prayers at the disputed structure in exclusion of Hindus, it says. Destruction of the mosque in 1992 was in breach of SC order, says CJI-led bench.
The disputed land in Ayodhya goes to the Hindus in its entirety for the construction of Ram Mandir. The Sunni Waqf Board will get five acres of alternate land, which will be accorded either by the state or the Centre.