The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed 18 review petitions which were filed against the November 9 judgment in the Ayodhya-Babri Masjid case.The bench held that the review petitions were lacking in merits. As regards the review sought by 40 activists, the bench held those who were not parties to the suit cannot be permitted to file review.The petitions were considered in the chamber by a five judges bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan, Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna (who came in place of former CJI Gogoi).

The petitions were considered in the chamber by a five judges bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan, Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna (who came in place of former CJI Gogoi).

The bench held that the review petitions were lacking in merits. As regards the review sought by 40 activists, the bench held those who were not parties to the suit cannot be permitted to file review.

A number of Muslim parties, including some supported by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, 40 activists, Hindu Mahasabha and the Nirmohi Akhara are amongst the parties who filed the review stating that there were “apparent errors” in the judgment.

The first review petition was filed by Maulana Syed Asshad Rashidi (President, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind), legal representative of M Sidddique, one of the original Muslim plaintiffs in the title suit. That petition contended, inter-alia, that the relief to Hindu parties amounted to rewarding illegal acts of trespass and demolition committed against the mosque. The judgment is mostly based on Hindu faith than secular principles, contended another set of review petitions filed by persons backed by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board.

The Hindu Mahasabha had also filed a review against the direction to allot 5 acres for construction of mosque as a ‘compensatory measure’.

Nirmohi Akhara, whose claims as a ‘shebait’ of the deity were dismissed by the Court, had also sought review.

Later, forty civil rights activists, who were not parties in the original case, filed a review petition contending that the verdict impacted  “the syncretic culture of the country and its secular fabric envisaged in the Constitution”.

In the November 9 judgment, a 5 judges bench comprising the then CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer held that the Hindu parties had a better claim of possessory title over the disputed land, and allowed the construction of Ram in the entire area of 2.77 acres, under the aegis of a trust created by the Central Government.

At the same time, the Court acknowledged that the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 was an egergious act, and compensated the Muslim side by directing grant of 5 acres of alternate land for the UP Sunni Waqf Board for the construction of mosque. This was ordered by the Court to do “complete justice” invoking powers under Article 142 of the Constitution of India.

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