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Ayodhya judgment day blog; Judgments available

19:25 Khan's judgment preamble reads: "Here is a small piece of land (1500 square yards) where angels fear to tread. It is full of innumerable land mines. We are required to clear it. Some very sane elements advised us not to attempt that. We do not propose to rush in like fools lest we are blown. However we have to take risk. It is said that the greatest risk in life is not daring to take risk when occasion for the same arises. Once angels were made to bow before Man. Sometimes he has to justify the said honour. This is one of those occasions. We have succeeded or failed? No one can be a judge in his own cause. Accordingly, herein follows the judgment for which the entire country is waiting with bated breath."

 19:19 Full judgments now uploaded at http://www.rjbm.nic.in/ - the consolidated judgment   of Justice Khan is a reasonably quick 3.2MB download of 285 pages.

Justice Agarwal's consolidated judgment weighs in at 21 parts. [correction: we had erroneously stated that Agarwal's consolidated judgment was 250 pages long - this is not correct. Thanks to readers for pointing out. -Ed]

19:04  Sorabjee asks why notwithstanding a Supreme Court appeal, an attempt should not be made to reconcile between the three parties, as suggested by the majority verdict in Allahabad?

18:53 Former attorney general Soli Sorabjee says in an IBN Live interview that "the two [majority] judgments are agreed in so far as ultimate conclusions are concerned" although he would have been happier if all three judgments were unanimous. Currently it was unclear what the dissenting judgment was based on, said Sorabjee. He said that at least it was a "judicial resolution of this long festering dispute".

"But I don't think either side will be completely satisfied," he added, although neither party will not be completely satisfied, "they should not get feeling [...] we have lost very badly".

Sorabjee said: "We should accept it in the proper spirit - subject of course to taking it to Supreme Court."

18:09:  Law minister  Veerappa Moily currently declines to comment in interviews, saying he wants to study the judgment first, report both television interviews and some online articles.

Do any lawyers have comment/analysis to share?

18:04: Justice Agarwal
says in his "gist of judgment" "(vii) For a period of three months or unless directed otherwise, whichever is earlier, the parties shall maintain status quo as on today in respect of property in dispute."

Justice Khan
too said that "the parties are at liberty to file their suggestions for actual partition by metes and bounds within three months".

Justice Sharma says
in his "issues for briefing", which is a good swift read, that the site was the birth place of Lord Ram, who is a juristic person and a deity. "It is personified as the spirit  of  divine worshipped as birth place of  Lord Rama as a child. Spirit of divine ever remains present every where at all times for any one to invoke at any shape or form in accordance with his own aspirations and it can be shapeless and formless also."

He also says that the Babri was not a mosque because "it was built against the tenets of Islam".

In paragraph 5 he says that the fourth case by the Sunni Central Board of Waqfs, and the third case of Nirmohi Akhara were both barred by time. 

Right now it seems to me that Sharma is the dissenting judge as he does not mention a division into three parts in the summary that runs through the 50+ issues in his 24-page "brief summary". Is very dense reading - any ideas?

 Justice Agarwal
says in the exerpt of his judgment that the land shall be split into 3 parts, noting particularly: "(iv-a) It is however made clear that the share of muslim parties shall not be less than one  third (1/3) of the  total  area of  the premises and  if necessary  it  may be given   some   area   of   outer courtyard. It is also made clear that while making partition by metes and bounds, if some minor adjustments are to be made with respect to the share of different parties, the affected party may be compensated by allotting the requisite land from the area which is under acquisition of the Government of India."

"(i) It is declared that the area covered by the central dome of the three domed structure, i.e., the disputed structure being the deity of Bhagwan Ram Janamsthan and place of birth of Lord Rama as per faith and belief of the Hindus, belong to plaintiffs (Suit-5) [Hindus] and shall not be obstructed or interfered  in any manner by  the defendants.."

"(ii) The area within the inner courtyard [...] belong to members of both the communities, i.e., Hindus (here plaintiffs, Suit-5) and Muslims since it was being used by both since decades and centuries. It is, however, made clear that for the purpose of share ofplaintiffs, Suit-5 under this direction the area which is covered by (i) above shall also be included."

"(iii) The area covered by the structures, namely, Ram Chabutra, [...] Sita Rasoi [...] and Bhandar [...] in the outer courtyard is declared in the share of Nirmohi Akhara (defendant no. 3) and they shall be entitled to possession thereof  in the absence of any person with better title. (iv) The open area within the outer courtyard [...] (except that covered by (iii) above) shall be shared by Nirmohi Akhara (defendant no. 3) and plaintiffs (Suit-5) since it has been generally used by the Hindu people for worship at both places."

[Ps: Our site crashed earlier under the traffic - we have temporarily reduced the images and other elements on the site to make it load faster...]

Justice Khan
says in his judgment summary: 1. The site was a mosque that was constructed over ruins of temples for a long time but both Muslims and Hindus worshipped there. He also holds that: “10. That  both the parties have failed to prove commencement  of their title hence by virtue of Section 110 Evidence Act both are held to be joint title holders on the basis of joint possession.”

“Accordingly,  all   the  three sets  of  parties,   i.e.  Muslims,  Hindus  and Nirmohi  Akhara are declared joint title holders of the property/ premises in dispute as described by letters A B C D E F in the map Plan-I prepared by Sri Shiv Shanker Lal, Pleader/ Commissioner appointed by Court in Suit No.1 to the extent of one third share each for using and managing the same for worshipping. A preliminary decree to this effect is passed.”

17:10 Summaries and 'gists' of judgments published on official site http://www.rjbm.nic.in/

Hon'ble Dharam Veer Sharma, J.

17:04 The place immediately below dome will go to Hindus - Nirmohi Akhara, and the other portion will go to Sunni Wakf central board, says Bhatt, who is Ram Lalla's lawyer. The third portion would go to Ram Lalla himself - not sure how that will work. For 3 months status quo should not be disturbed...

16:58 The 1961 suit by Sunni Wakf board rejected because it was 6 years too late, says KN Bhatt - the Lawyer of Ram Lalla. He tells IBN Live that the place immediately below the dome where the idol was the birthplace of Lord Rama.

Meanwhile, in another video feed piped into the background on IBN, footage of intimidating marching soliders and riot police in full regalia.

Still not clear exactly how land will be divided into three. Bhatt says that court apparently decided that the Babri site was a mosque.

16:54 The land would be divided into 3 parts, says IBN Live, after a number of lawyers have spoken.

16:52 The Mumbai streets were fairly empty an hour ago – any update on what’s going on outside? Everyone glued to TV or business as usual. To break the tension, just in on Twitter: “RT @mojorojo: BREAKING NEWS: Ayodhya now only computer in the world that has 1/3 GB Ram.”

16:45 @Livemint just tweeted: “Even though Ayodhya is the birth place of Ram, only 1/3rd of land should be allocated to Hindus, and 1/3 for Mosque” – Not sure whether true or where came from.

16:43 Lawyer and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the basic title suit Sunni has been rejected, according to IBN TV. Apparently two-to-one the judges decided that the Babri Masjid location was the place of Ram Lalla’s birth. Again, judgment not uploaded yet nor proper information available.

16:36 Apparently the lawyers for the Hindu side have breached the embargo on public statements and have quoted selectively from the case, says IBN Live. Website still down…

16:29 Journo on IBN Live overhears some lawyers saying that both suits were barred by time due to the statute of limitations… Status quo would prevail. Sounds pretty hazy for now, let’s wait for the judgment…

16:22 There is a special website set up and it’s still running! http://www.rjbm.nic.in/ -- right now it says in big black letters: “Judgement shall be made available soon”

16:15 New and old media overdrive: More than 100 tweets on Ayodhya every minute. All TV channels on full Ayodhyah rotation. Hundreds of hacks are assembled outside court, says Times of India. A gentleman on IBN Live TV reassures antsy presenter than the judgment will be in English and not in Hindi. They speculate whether the HC website can take the hits (no, it can’t – still offline…).

16:02 The Allahabad High Court website is inaccessible, according to posts on Twitter and Legally India experience. Verdict will be available on Allahabad HC website at 4pm, says news ticker on www.indiatvnews.com. Unsurprisingly a lot of people seem interested in the judgment, apart from just journos.

15:55 The judgment by the court in the Ayodyha title dispute is expected at 4pm today. According to media reports, each of the three judges will give separate judgments in the case.

The Lucknow bench of the High Court bench consists of Justice DV Sharma, who will retire on Friday, and SU Khan and Sudhir Agarwal.

This post will be updated throughout the day.

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