Babri Masjid: The disputed site
INDIA’S Supreme Court today suspended a landmark ruling that partitioned the disputed holy site in Ayodhya.A two-justice bench stayed the September order of the Allahabad High Court that had carved the site in Ayodhya into three sections - one for Hindus, one for Muslims and one for a local Hindu trust.Both justices questioned what had prompted the lower court to split up the site when none of the numerous claimants had requested such a partition.“The High Court has carved out a new relief which was never asked for. This is something that has to be corrected,” said Justice RM Lodha, while Justice Aftab Alam described the ruling as “quite strange”.The comments came on the first day of a Supreme Court hearing of suits from multiple petitioners challenging the Allahabad court order.In staying the September ruling, the court said the “status quo” should be maintained at the Ayodhya site, thus preventing any groups from building on their allotted portions.The Allahabad ruling was seen at the time by many experts as a flawed legal compromise to the seemingly intractable Ayodhya dispute and an effort to turn the page on its bloody history.Most of the petitioners at today’s hearing were requesting that the site be handed over to one community or the other in its entirety.
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