As the 134-year-old politically sensitive Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya has been finally put to rest with the Supreme Court pronouncing the historic verdict in the title suit on Saturday, the top court used special powers granted in the Article 142 of the Constitution twice during the course of the verdict.
The five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi ruled that the disputed 2.77-acre land will be taken over by a Government trust for the construction of the temple, while the top court invoked the powers of Article 142 to grant a suitable alternative plot of land measuring 5 acres at a prominent site in Ayodhya for the Sunni Wakf Board.
The Article 142 says, “Enforcement of decrees and orders of Supreme Court and unless as to discovery, etc (1) The Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it, and any decree so passed or orders so made shall be enforceable throughout the territory of India in such manner as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament and, until provision in that behalf is so made, in such manner as the President may by order prescribe.”
The five judge bench observed that there was no abandonment of the mosque by the Muslims. The top court observed that in the exercise of its powers under Article 142 of the Constitution must ensure a wrong committed should be remedied.
The bench also observed that the justice will not be served if the court were to overlook the entitlement of the Muslims, who have been deprived of the structure of the mosque through means, through means which do not favour secular nation governed by rule of law.
The court rejected the claim of Nirmohi Akhara of being a ‘shebait’ (a devotee who serves the deity).The Supreme Court, however, said that in the board of trustees, appropriate representation should be accorded to Nirmohi Akhara, even though its suit was dismissed. The apex court once again invoked this Article to grant relief to Nirmohi Akhara and sought its inclusion on the trust formed by the Centre under Section 6 of the Ayodhya Act to construct Temple.
“In exercise of the powers vested in this Court under Article 142 of the Constitution, we direct that in the scheme to be framed by the Central Government, appropriate representation may be given in the Trust or body, to the Nirmohi Akhara in such manner as the Central Government deems fit,” noted the court.
Article 142 was earlier invoked by the Supreme Court in October to annul the marriage of couple living separately for nearly 22 years.