Bhubaneswar: After a legal tussle spreading over several decades, the foundation of Ram Mandir was laid down on August 5, 2020, Wednesday. A grand ‘Bhoomi Pujan’ was performed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Ayodhya.
Here’s a detailed timeline of how the dispute begun, the various twists and turns, and its culmination in the 2019 judgement by the Supreme Court.
-1528: Babri Masjid built by Mir Baqi, commander of Mughal emperor Babur.
– 1885: Mahant Raghubir Das files plea in Faizabad district court seeking permission to build a canopy outside the disputed structure. Court rejects the plea.
– 1949: Idols of Ram Lalla placed under central dome outside the disputed structure.
– 1950: Gopal Simla Visharad files suit in Faizabad district court for rights to worship the idols of Ram Lalla.
– Paramahansa Ramachandra Das files suit for the continuation of worship and keeping the idols.
– 1959: Nirmohi Akhara files suit seeking possession of the site.
– 1961: UP Sunni Central Waqf Board files suit for possession of the site.
– February 1, 1986: Local court orders the government to open the site for Hindu worshippers.
– August 14, 1989: Allahabad HC orders status quo in respect of the disputed structure.
– December 6, 1992: Babri Masjid demolished.
– April 3, 1993: ‘Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act’ passed for acquiring land by Centre in the disputed area.
– Various writ petitions, including one by Ismail Faruqui, filed in Allahabad HC challenging various aspects of the Act.
– SC exercising its jurisdiction under Article 139A transfers the writ petitions, which were pending in the High Court.
– October 24, 1994: SC says in historic Ismail Faruqui case, mosque was not integral to Islam.
– April 2002: HC begins hearings on determining who owns the disputed site.
– March 13, 2003: SC says, in the Aslam alias Bhure case, no religious activity of any nature is allowed at the acquired land.
– September 30, 2010: HC, in a 2:1 majority, rules three-way division of disputed area between Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
– May 9, 2011: SC stays HC verdict on Ayodhya land dispute.
– March 21, 2017: CJI JS Khehar suggests out-of-court settlement among rival parties.
– August 7: SC constitutes a three-judge bench to hear pleas challenging the 1994 verdict of the Allahabad HC.
– February 8, 2018: SC starts hearing civil appeals.
– July 20, 2018: SC reserves verdict.
– September 27, 2018: SC declines to refer the case to a five-judge Constitution bench. Case to be heard by a newly constituted three-judge bench on October 29.
– October 29, 2018: SC fixes the case for the first week of January before an appropriate bench, which decides the schedule of hearing.
– December 24, 2018: SC decides to take up petitions on the case for hearing on January 4, 2019.
– January 4, 2019: SC says an appropriate bench constituted by it will pass an order on January 10 for fixing the date of hearing in the title case.
– January 8, 2019: SC sets up a five-judge Constitution Bench to hear the case headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising justices S A Bobde, N V Ramana, U U Lalit and D Y Chandrachud.
– January 10, 2019: Justice U U Lalit recuses himself prompting SC to reschedule the hearing for January 29 before a new bench.
– January 25, 2019: SC reconstitutes 5-member Constitution Bench to hear the case. The new bench comprises Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer.
– January 29, 2019: Centre moves SC seeking permission to return the 67-acre acquired land around the disputed site to original owners.
– February 26, 2019: SC favours mediation, fixes March 5 for order on whether to refer the matter to a court-appointed mediator.
– March 8, 2019: SC refers the dispute for mediation by a panel headed by former apex court judge F M I Kallifulla.
– April 9, 2019: Nirmohi Akhara opposes in SC Centre’s plea to return acquired land around Ayodhya site to owners.
– May 9, 2019: 3-member mediation committee submits interim report in SC.
– May 10, 2019: SC extends time till August 15 to complete mediation process.
– July 11, 2019: SC seeks report on “progress of mediation”.
– July 18, 2019: SC allows mediation process to continue, seeks outcome report by August 1.
– August 1, 2019: Report of mediation submitted in a sealed cover to SC.
– August 2, 2019: SC decides to conduct day-to-day hearing from August 6 as mediation fails.
– August 6, 2019: SC commences day-to-day hearing on the land dispute.
– October 4, 2019: SC says it will wrap up hearing on October 17, judgment by November 17.
– SC directs UP government to provide security to state Waqf Board Chairperson.
– October 16, 2019: SC concludes hearing; reserves order.
– November 9, 2019: SC grants the entire 2.77 acres of disputed land in Ayodhya to deity Ram Lalla, possession of land to remain with the central government receiver. SC also directs Centre and UP government to allot 5-acre land to the Muslims at a prominent place for building a mosque.
– February 5, 2020: PM announces 15-Member Trust for Ram Temple in Ayodhya in Parliament.
– February 19, 2020: Ram Mandir Trust appoints office-bearers.
– August 5, 2020: PM Modi conducts ‘Bhumi Pujan’ at Ayodhya for initiation of temple construction, lays foundation stone.