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Ayodhya land dispute case: Who are the litigants

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 3 days ago HT Correspondent

The Supreme Court is expected to deliver its verdict on the disputed 2.77 acres of land in Ayodhya title suit soon.

(Photo by Qamar Sibtain/India Today Group/Getty Images) © Getty (Photo by Qamar Sibtain/India Today Group/Getty Images)

A five-judge constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, is considering petitions against a 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment that ordered the disputed land be divided equally between the Nirmohi Akhada, a Hindu denomination, the Sunni Central Waqf Board and representatives of Ram Lalla, the child deity.

The Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992 by Hindu right-wing groups, who want to build a temple at the spot.

Here are the main litigants in the title suit:

Hindu side included:

Nirmohi Akhara

The Nirmohi Akhara is a religious denomination of sadhus belonging to the Ramanandi Bairagi sect. The Akhara had moved the Faizabad civil court in December 1959 claiming the ownership of the Babri Masjid structure. It had said it won’t contest the Lord’s plea if his lawyers don’t dispute their rights to maintain and manage it.

Ram Lalla Virajman

Ram Lalla Virajman or the child deity is represented by a human, legally called “next friend”, Trilok Nath Pandey. Pandey is a member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).

Devaki Nandan Agarwal, a retired judge of Allahabad High Court, was the first “next friend”. Agarwal had filed a suit in 1989 claiming to represent Ram Lalla Virajman and the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi.

Pandey, a senior Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader, became the next friend after Agarwal’s death in 2002.

All India Hindu Mahasabha

The Hindu Mahasabha moved the Supreme Court in December 2010 to challenge the Allahabad High Court’s September order. It sought the verdict’s partial annulment and endorsement of the minority judgment that ruled in favour of handing over the entire land to Hindu parties.

Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas

Backed by the VHP, the Nyas is the supreme body of saints which has been spearheading the Ram Mandir movement across the country since the 1990s. It is a trust formed by VHP in January 1993 soon after the Babri Masjid’s demolition in December 1992, to promote and oversee the construction of the Ram temple.

Muslim side:

Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board

The Sunni Waqf Board is leading the Muslim side in the top court. It had filed a suit in the Faizabad civil court on February 1, 1961, against three pending Hindu cases. The board claims possession of the mosque.

Mohd Iqbal Ansari

Iqbal Ansari is an independent litigant and the son of one of the oldest litigants in the case Mohammad Hashim Ansari. Hashim Ansari, a local tailor who lived a few metres from the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, was one of the first complainants in the case. Hashim died in 2016 and Iqbal Ansari has taken over as petitioner in the Supreme Court.

M Siddiq

Siddiq was the general secretary of the Jamiat-ul Ulema-i Hind, Uttar Pradesh. The petition filed by him on behalf of the Jamiat became the title suit in the Ayodhya case. The Jamiat’s maulana Ashhad Rashidi became the petitioner after Siddiq died.

Central Shia Waqf Board

A trial court had ruled in 1946 that the Babri Masjid was a Sunni property. The Board claimed that it was Mughal emperor Babur’s Shia commander Mir Baqi, who had built the mosque and not Babar, who was a Sunni.

The Shia Waqf Board, also a party in the Allahabad High Court, moved the Supreme Court in 2017 for ownership challenging the 1946 decree in a Special Leave Petition.

Also watch: All you should know about Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit

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(Video by The Economic Times)

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