The Supreme Court will pronounce its historic judgement in the decades-old Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case today.
The court will deliver its verdict on a batch of petitions challenging September 30, 2010, Allahabad High Court order, which trifurcated the 2.77 acres disputed land between the Nirmohi Akhara, the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board, and Ramlalla Virajman.
The landmark verdict will be delivered at 10:30 am today.
The case was heard by a five-judge Constitution Bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan, and S Abdul Nazeer for a marathon 40 days on a day-to-day basis and reserved its order on October 16.
Hearing in the case commenced on August 6 after the court-appointed mediation panel, comprising of spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Justice (retired) FMI Kalifullah and senior advocate and renowned mediator Sriram Panchu failed to arrive at an out-of-court settlement in the case.
The 40-day long proceedings turned out to be the second-longest hearing in the history of the Supreme Court, after the historic Kesavananda Bharati case which went on for 68 days.
On Friday, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who is set to demit office on November 17 held a meeting with Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Rajendra Kumar Tiwari and director general of police (DGP) Om Prakash Singh and took stock of security arrangements in the state. The officers briefed the Chief Justice about their preparedness in handling the law and order situation.
As a precautionary measure, the government has closed all schools, colleges, educational institutions from Saturday to Monday in Uttar Pradesh. Schools and colleges in Karnataka, Jammu, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh are also shut today. Even in Delhi all government schools and many private schools are closed, as it is a second Saturday and the government has advised all private schools to also remain closed today.
Security arrangements have been beefed up in Uttar Pradesh, especially in Ayodhya district, in view of the impending judgment in the case. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPc have been imposed in Ayodhya till December 10.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for peace and unity and said the court judgement will not be a victory or defeat for anyone. Several other prominent political leaders have also appealed citizens to maintain peace and not believe rumour being spread on social media.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said that the government was committed to providing security to everyone and said strict action would be taken against those trying to disrupt peace and harmony in the state.
Religious leaders and outfits of Hindu and Muslim communities have appealed for calm and peace, with Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind president Arshad Madani saying that the organisation will accept the verdict irrespective of its outcome.
Earlier this week, BJP and RSS members met Muslim intellectuals and clerics at Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi’s residence and said that excessive celebration or mourning should be avoided irrespective of the verdict.