Ayodhya Dispute Case Summary

Published On: 1st March, 2024

Authored By: Raghvendra
The Law School, University of Jammu


The Ayodhya Dispute is one of the longest political disputes in the history of India. It is a complex and sensitive case that had a significant impact on the social and political fabric of India. This dispute has a legal aspect too. The dispute revolves around the ownership of a site in Ayodhya which is known as the Babri Masjid. It is the only case which has been the issue in the working durations of all the Prime Ministers of the independent India. The dispute was basically initiated in 1528, when the Babri Masjid was made by Mir Baqi who was the general of Babar and local people said that the mosque was built after demolishing the Ram Mandir. Then the first violent conflict started in 1853. Later on, in 1949, an idol of Lord Ram was found and placed inside the disputed area. Thus Hindus started claiming that Mandir was there before the construction of the Masjid. Since then it has been a source of tension between the Hindu and Muslim communities.

This case has gone through various legal proceedings, and in 2019, the Supreme Court of India finally delivered a judgement which allowed the building of the Hindu temple at the site of conflict.

Title of the case

The case which is popularly known as the Ayodhya Dispute is referred to as M Siddiq (D) Thr Lrs v. Mahant Suresh Das & Ors. This dispute has been a social, political, historical and religious issue in India and at last, the Supreme Court passed a decree for the case on November 9th, 2019.

Facts of the Case

The site of origin of this case is located in the city of Ayodhya Uttar Pradesh. This site has been a matter of dispute between Hindus and Muslims. According to the religious texts of Hindus, the city of Ayodhya is considered the place of birth of Lord Ram. This city was of importance to Muslims too because Babri Masjid was built here by the first Mughal emperor Babur in 1528. A religious violence took place in the Ayodhya city in the year 1850 over a mosque near a place known as Hanuman Garhi. In this process, the Babri Masjid was attacked by Hindus. The Hindus who were locals of the place always demanded the possession of land and they also believed that the mosque was built after destroying a pre-existing Ram Mandir in 1528. During the colonial period, the Hindus appealed before the government for the possession of the site, but their requests were always rejected by the British government. On 22 December 1949, Akhil Bharatiya Ramanyanam Mahasabha(ABRM), a subsidiary branch of Hindu Mahasabha, held a 9-day continuous Ramcharitmanas recitation. At the end of the recitation, the Hindu activists broke into the mosque and established idols of Shri Ram and Mata Sita inside. It was ordered by Jawahar Lal Nehru to remove these idols from the mosque. This order was opposed and refused by a local official, K.K.K Nair on the grounds that it would lead to communal riots all over India. In this way, the mosque was converted into a De facto temple because priests were allowed to worship there due to the presence of the idols. The Police locked the gates and banned the entry of the rest of the Hindus and Muslims.

The legal battle truly got started in 1950 when a petition was filed by Gopal Singh Visharad. This case was continued in the court for almost a decade. Then the Nirmohi Akhada filed another complaint in 1959 in which they claimed that the area should be in their possession. The Sunni Central Waqf Council (which was established by Indian law to preserve and protect the Muslim religious and cultural sites), filed a counter-request in 1961 in response to the above-mentioned petitions.

Issues of the Case

The issues of this case revolved around the demands of Hindu and Muslim communities claiming the possession and ownership of the land in Ayodhya where both Hindu and Muslim had religious connections.

One major issue of this case was, “Whether a pre-existing Hindu temple was demolished to construct a mosque. ”

Parties of the case and their pleadings

There were several parties involved in the legal proceedings of this case. Out of all these, some of the significant parties of the case and their major claims are listed as follows:

Ram Lalla Virajman

Ram Lalla Virajman refers to the deity of Lord Ram, represented by a human named Trilok Nath Pandey (a member of Vishwa Hindu Parishad). The claims of Ram Lalla Virajman were:

  • A declaration decree which states that the entire site belongs to the deity.
  • Perpetual injunction against opponent parties which can prohibit them from interfering in the construction of a temple in future in any manner.
  • The representative is opposed to the division of land as it holds that the deity is indivisible.

Nirmohi Akhara

The Nirmohi Akhara is a monastery of devotees of Lord Ram. According to some sources, the Akhara is said to have managed the temple before the construction of the mosque. The claims of the Akhara are as follows:

  • The Akhara should be given the right to serve the deity if the Supreme Court gives a verdict in favour of the building of the temple.
  • The authority to build and manage Ram Mandir at the site of dispute.
  • The court should provide land other than the conflict area to Muslims to build a mosque.

Gopal Singh Visharad

Gopal Singh Visharad is an individual who claimed that his ancestors performed rituals at the temple so he should be given the right to worship at the temple too. His demands are as follows:

  • He was against any compromise in the Ram Janmabhoomi case.
  • He claimed that he should get a constitutional right to worship at the site because his ancestors did that too.

Hindu Mahasabha

The demands of Hindu Mahasabha are as follows:

  • The Supreme Court should appoint a trust to manage the Ram Mandir that will be built at the conflict site.
  • The Supreme Court should also appoint an administrator of this trust.

Sunni Waqf Board

According to Muslim law, a Waqf is a body which owns, manages and protects the religious and cultural sites of Muslims. They are regulated under the Waqf Act of 1995. Their demands are as follows:

  • They requested that the Babri Masjid should be repaired to bring it back to the same position in which it was before being destroyed in 1992.

Shia Waqf Board

Even though the Shia Waqf Board is a Muslim organisation, it has supported the claims that were in favour of establishing the Ram Mandir and sought that Muslim parties should give up their claim. Their pleadings are as follows:

  • They pleaded that the land of dispute belonged to the Shia Waqf Board, not the Sunni Waqf Board as Babar, who built the mosque in 1528, was from the Shia sect of Muslims.
  • They requested that the land given to the Muslims by the order of Allahabad High Court should be given to Hindu parties.


The judgement of this case was passed on 9 November 2019 by the five-judge bench (led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi) of the Supreme Court of India. It was held by the Supreme Court that the land belonged to the government of India on the basis of tax records. The Court said that the Allahabad High Court’s decision in 2010 was incorrect. The verdict was passed in favour of the construction of Ram Mandir. The Supreme Court also ordered the government to provide 5 acres of land to the Sunni Waqf Board at some other place. The final judgement passed in this case can be summarized as follows:

  • The Court ordered to building of a trust for the construction of Ram Mandir and to manage the devotees.
  • The entire land of dispute of area 77 acres was granted for the construction of the temple and 5 acres of land was provided to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a mosque.
  • The Court said that the Babri Masjid was built on a structure that was indigenous and non-Islamic.
  • The Court ruled that Nirmohi Akhara should be given appropriate representation in the Board of Trustees.
  • The claim that was made by the Shia Waqf Board against the Sunni Waqf Board regarding the ownership of the Babri Masjid was rejected by the Court.
  • The Court stated that the Hindus’ belief that Shrin Ram was born on the land of dispute cannot be challenged.
  • The Court also declared that the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992 was a violation of law.


Starting from 1949 in civil suits to getting a final judgement by the Supreme Court, this case has been in proceedings for almost 70 years, thus becoming one of the longest-running cases in the history of independent India. After being in proceedings for so long, a just and equitable verdict was passed by the Supreme Court which provided both Hindus and Muslims with an area to construct their religious sites, thus maintaining both equality before the law and secularism as enshrined in the constitution of India.

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