Ayodhya: Why are some historians angry?
October 8, 2010 Leave a comment
The Allahabad High Court verdict in the “The Sunni Central Board of Waqfs UP Lucknow & Others Versus Gopal Singh Visharad and Others” lawsuit has upset some historians and they have started questioning the credibility of the Archaeological Survey of India report. According to Romila Thapar, few archaeologists and historians had quesioned the ASI report and hence it was not fair to accept it in a simplistic manner. She then lamented about the mention of destruction of the “supposed temple” without balancing it with the mention of the destruction of the not-so-supposed mosque. Dr. Omar Khaladi went one step furthur and accused the ASI — an institution controlled by a non-Hindutva party — of being a handmaiden of Hindutva.
This anger against the ASI can be understood if we examine the narrative perpetuated by these historians. In 1989 many historians issued a statement that there was no temple.But a decade back, under a project titled, “Archaeology of Ramayana Sites”, the ASI had conducted surveys around Babri Masjid. The goal was to determine the antiquity of the site; settlements existed in Ayodhya as far back as the second millennium BCE. Archaeologists also found twelve stone pillars with Hindu motifs and deities, but the report published in 1976 did not mention these.
Some eminent historians tried to explain these pillar bases away by suggesting that these were part of a wall or a cowshed. But the court ordered excavations conducted by the ASI from March 12 to August 7, 2003 found pillar bases all over the area. Based on this, the ASI summarized the following for the court.
“Subsequently, during the early medieval period (11th–12th century AD) a huge structure was constructed, which seems to have been short-lived. On the remains of the above structure was constructed a massive structure with at least three structural phases and three successive floors attached to it. It is over the top of this construction during the early sixteenth century, the disputed structure was constructed directly resting over it.[Massive shrine was under disputed site]
Second, following the demolition of the Babri Masjid, a large stone block with a Sanskrit inscription was found. This inscription clearly indicated that a temple dating to 11-12th century existed at that location. Some historians argued that the inscription was forged but many epigraphists who examined the slab disagreed. Finally, as B.B.Lal (Director General of ASI) wrote in Rama: His Historicity, Mandir and Setu, Evidence of Literature, Archaeology and other Sciences
Anyway, to allay misgivings, I append here a note from the highest authority on epigraphical matters in the country, namely the Director of Epigraphy, ASI, Dr KV Ramesh (Appendix II). In it he first gives a summary of the inscription, then an actual reading of the text and finally an English translation thereof. While many scholars may like to go through the Note, it maybe straightaway here that according to it this temple was built by Meghasuta who obtained the lordship of Saketamandala (i.e. Ayodhya) through the grace of the senior Lord of the earth viz Govinda Chandra, of the Gahadavala dynasty who ruled over a vast empire, from 1114 to 1155 CE.
What ASI proved was that Romila Thapar’s “supposed temple” did exist. Taking note of the criticism against the ASI, the judges have mentioned the ASI excavations were transparent and it proved beyond doubt, the existence of the temple and “even Muslim members have also signed the report of ASI.” Finally, dismissing the argument by some historians that the structure beneath the mosque could not be a temple because of the discovery of animal bones, “HC was also surprised to note the “zeal” in some of the archaeologists and historians appearing as witnesses on behalf of the Sunni Waqf Board who made statements much beyond reliefs demanded by the Waqf.”
- Apsidal ShrinesLast year there was news of discovery of a 2000 year old Shiva temple complex in Uttar Pradesh, one of the oldest in India. Besides the age, what was interesting…
- Stone inscription with Indus signs(Indus Signs from a earlier find in Dholavira) An inscription on stone, with three big Indus signs and possibly a fourth, has been found on the Harappan site of Dholavira…
- 2000 Year Old Shiva TempleLast year at a place called Sanchakot in Uttar Pradesh, archaeologists found evidence of a temple complex consisting of five temples. Four temples were dated between 1st – 3rd century…
- Pavlopetri, Dwaraka etc.That is the video of a 5000 year old submerged town —- almost a complete town with separate buildings, courtyards, streets and graves — in Greece. Pavlopetri was a harbor town which…
ASI evidence proved demolition beyond doubt
An important aspect of the Allahabad High Court judgment in the Ayodhya title suits case is its conclusion on the issue whether a Hindu temple existed below the Babri Masjid. All three judges have answered in the affirmative and the reason is the meticulous investigation by the Archaeological Survey of India on the court’s orders in 2003. The judgment refers to that report. Given the significance of this report, it would be worthwhile to examine the evidence they gathered and their conclusions.
Below the surfaceExcavation was carried out by ASI from March 12 to August 7, 2003. The court took the view that archaeological evidence would be of importance to decide the question ‘whether there was any temple/structure which was demolished and mosque was constructed on the disputed site’. It first ordered a Ground Penetrating Radar and geo-radiology survey. The Ground Penetrating Radar detected what archaeologists term as ‘anomaly alignments’. Following this survey, the court passed an order on March 5, 2003 directing the ASI to excavate the disputed site and permitted the parties to the dispute to appoint nominees to watch the excavation.The ASI excavated 90 trenches in five months and submitted its report. It states under the heading ‘The Massive Structure Below the Disputed Structure’: As stated earlier the disputed structure or structure 3 was found directly resting over an earlier construction, structure 4 (pp 33-34) which has survived through its nearly 50-metre long wall (wall 16) in the west and 50 exposed pillar bases to its east attached with floor 2 or the floor of the last phase of the structure’.The Circular ShrineFurther, it said, ‘From the excavation it could be inferred that there were seventeen rows of pillar bases from north to south, each row having five pillar bases’. Under the heading ‘The Circular Shrine’ it says, ‘A partly damaged east facing brick shrine, structure …… was noticed. It is a circular structure with a rectangular projection in the east….. The structure was squarish from the inner side and a 0.04 m wide and 0.53 m long chute or outlet was noticed on plan made through the northern wall up to the end where in the lower course a 5.0 cm thick brick cut in ‘V’ shape was fixed which was found broken and which projects 3.5 cm outside the circular outer face as a pranala to drain out the water, obviously after the abhisheka of the deity….‘The brick shrine is similar (Fig 18) on plan to the Chirenath brick temple at Sravasti exposed recently by the Archaeological Survey of India ………..It has also affinity with circular Siva temples of Rewa in Madhya Pradesh at Chandrehe and Masaon belonging to C 950 AD and a Vishnu temple and another without deity at Kurari in Fatehpur district of Uttar Pradesh and Surya Temple at Tindali in Fatehpur district… Thus on stylistic grounds, the present circular shrine can be dated to tenth century AD… They possibly brought the tradition of stone circular temples transformed into brick in Ganga-Yamuna valley’.Unearthing factsThe Archaeological Survey of India ’s ‘Summary of Results’ is as follows:The Northern Black Polished Ware (NBPW) using people were the first to occupy the disputed site at Ayodhya during the first millennium BC. This period may be assigned to circa 1000 BC to 300 BC. The Sunga horizon (Second–First century BC) comes next in order of cultural occupation at the site. “Typical terracotta mother goddess, human and animal figurines….represent the cultural matrix of this level”. The Kushan period (first to third century AD) followed the Sunga occupation. The advent of Guptas (fourth to sixth century AD) is represented by the typical terracotta figurines and a copper coin. During the post-Gupta-Rajput period (seventh to tenth century AD) too the site witnessed structural activity including a circular brick shrine. Though the structure is damaged, the northern wall still retains a provision for pranala (waterchute).“Subsequently, (11th–12th century AD) a huge structure was constructed, which seems to have been short-lived. On the remains of the above structure was constructed a massive structure with at least three structural phases and three successive floors attached to it. It is over the top of this construction during the early 16th century, the disputed structure was constructed directly resting over it.”
Finally, the ASI summed up its answer to the question put to it by the court, namely ‘whether there was any temple/structure which was demolished and a mosque was constructed on the disputed site’, as follows: ‘Now, viewing in totality and taking into account the archaeological evidence of a massive structure just below the disputed structure and evidence of continuity in structural phases from the tenth century onwards up to the construction of the disputed structure along with the yield of stone and decorated bricks… amalaka, kapotapali doorjamb with semi-circular pilaster, broken octagonal shaft of black schist pillar, lotus motif, circular shrine, having pranala (waterchute) in the north, are indicative of remains which are distinctive features associated with the temples of north India”.
This report played a crucial role in determining a crucial issue before the court. At this point, it would be pertinent to revert to proceedings before the Supreme Court in regard to the presidential reference of January, 1993 and to the declarations and assertions by the Union government before the apex court on how it proposed to resolve the dispute.
A five-judge Bench of the Supreme Court on October 24 1994 delivered its judgment in the Faruqui case (M Ismail Faruqui and Others Versus Union of India and Others) while simultaneously disposing of the presidential reference made the previous year. In that reference the president asked the court: “Whether a Hindu temple or any Hindu religious structure existed prior to the construction of the Ram Janma Bhoomi–Babri Masjid (including the premises of the inner and outer courtyards of such structure) in the area on which the structure stood?” The court declined to answer this question.
In the Faruqui case, the constitutional validity of Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act, 1993 was challenged. The court upheld the Act but declared Section 4(3) of Act, which provided for abatement of all pending suits and legal proceedings pertaining to the disputed structure, to be invalid. This meant the revival of all pending suits and legal proceedings before the Allahabad High Court. On the Presidential Reference, the court said it was “superfluous and unnecessary and does not require to be answered”.
The judgement pertained to the constitutional validity of the ‘Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya’ Ordinance on January 7, 1993 for acquisition of 67.703 acres of land in the Ram Janma Bhoomi–Babri Masjid complex and the reference made by the president that very day to the Supreme Court under Article 143 of the Constitution.
The government’s word
Those who opposed the presidential reference said the question was ‘academic’ and ‘vague’ and did not serve any constitutional purpose. The Supreme Court asked the solicitor-general to clarify. The solicitor-general responded with a written statement on behalf of the central government on September 14 1994. He said the government would treat the finding of the court on the question of fact raised in the presidential reference “as a verdict which is final and binding”. The government would make efforts to resolve the controversy by a process of negotiations “in the light of the Supreme Court’s opinion and consistent with it”.
The solicitor-general further went on to say that if efforts at a negotiated settlement did not succeed, “government is committed to enforce a solution in the light of the Supreme Court’s opinion and consistent with it. Government’s action in this regard will be even-handed in respect of both the communities. If the question referred is answered in the affirmative, namely, that a Hindu temple/structure did exist prior to the construction of the demolished structure, government action will be in support of the wishes of the Hindu community. If, on the other hand, the question is answered in the negative, namely, that no such Hindu temple/structure existed at the relevant time, then government action will be in support of the wishes of the Muslim community”. The solicitor-general’s statement formed a part of the record and was taken into account by the court.
The Supreme Court however held that the presidential reference was “superfluous and unnecessary” in view of its decision to uphold the validity of the Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act, 1993, except Section 4(3).
The white paper published by the Centre after the demolition of the Babri Masjid offers a clue to why the government posed that question to the Supreme Court: The white paper said: During the negotiations aimed at finding an amicable settlement, one issue that came to the fore was whether a Hindu temple had existed on the site occupied by the disputed structure and whether it was demolished on Babur’s orders for the construction of the masjid. It was stated on behalf of the Muslim organisations, as well as by certain eminent historians, that there was no evidence in favour of either of these two assertions. It was also stated by certain Muslim leaders that if these assertions were proved, the Muslims would voluntarily hand over the disputed shrine to the Hindus. Naturally, this became the central issue in the negotiations between the VHP and AIBMAC. This explains the purpose of the presidential reference…”
Now that the Allahabad High Court has concluded that there indeed was a temple below the disputed structure, the Union government is bound by the commitment made before the Supreme Court on September 14 1994. It now has the answer to the question it posed via the presidential reference and will be morally and legally bound to live up to its commitment.
Understanding Hindu law
Several commentators who are not clued into the intricacies of Hindu law have expressed surprise over the high court’s verdict, especially on the juristic rights of deities exercisable through a ‘next friend’ and on the court’s eventual conclusion that Ram Janma Bhoomi is the birthplace of Ram.
Of the four title suits decided in the Ayodhya case, only one filed on behalf of Bhagwan Shri Ram Virajman was accepted by the court. All the other suits (filed by Sunni Waqf Board and others; Sri Gopal Singh Visharad and Nirmohi Akhara) were dismissed. In the suit filed on behalf of Ram, Bhagwan Sri Ram Virajman was the first plaintiff, the second was Asthan Sri Ram Janma Bhoomi, Ayodhya (the place known as Ram Janma Bhoomi) and the third plaintiff was Deoki Nandan Agarwal, a retired judge, who became the ‘next friend’ of the deities in 1989. Following his demise, T P Verma and then Trilokinath Pandey were appointed the ‘next friend’ by the apex court.
K N Bhat, former additional solicitor-general who represented Lord Ram and the Janmasthan acting through the ‘next friend’ Pandey argued that a Hindu deity is a juristic person who can sue and be sued and can possess properties and that this is well-established through judgments of the Privy Council and the Supreme Court; that the Janmasthan is itself a deity; and that the suit is not barred by limitation because the deity (Lord Ram) is in the position of a perpetual minor. The final outcome depended substantially on whether the court accepted these points.
The deity’s ‘next friend’Quoting from Mukherjea’s Hindu Law of Religious and Charitable Trusts, the plaint said Lord Ram was a ‘juristic entity’ with a juridical status. “Its (the deity’s) interests are attended to by the person who has the deity in his charge and who in law is its manager, with all the powers which would …be given to the manager of the estate of an infant heir. This doctrine …is firmly established”. Such a deity, deemed to be a perpetual minor, can sue through a ‘next friend’ appointed by the courts.
As regards Lord Ram’s place of birth, the contention was that Asthan Sri Ram Janma Bhoomi (the place itself) was an object of worship as a deity and it personified the spirit of the divine. The asthan (the place) thus had a juridical personality of its own even before construction of the temple and installation of the idol, which is not necessary for invoking the divine spirit. Other examples of places sanctified by belief even though there is no idol are Kedarnath, Vaishno Devi and Gaya.
The plaint also quoted extensively from the gazetteers to establish the fact that Hindu belief in Lord Ram’s birthplace had been acknowledged by many authorities over several centuries. The evidence adduced on behalf of these plaintiffs included Ajudhia in Historical Sketch of Tehsil Faizabad, by P Carnegy, officiating commissioner and settlement officer. Carnegy states that Janmasthan marks the place where Sri Ramchnadra was born and goes on to add that “Ajudhia (Ayodhya) is to the Hindu, what Mecca is to the Mohomedan, Jerusalem to the Jews…” . These gazetteers, written by British officers, are seen as having considerable evidentiary value.The court said the suit filed on behalf of the deities was not barred by limitation and that the premises in question (or any part thereof) were by tradition, belief and faith the birthplace of Ram. Justice Sudhir Agarwal said the area covered by the central dome of the disputed structure “being the deity of Bhagwan Ram Janamsthan and place of birth of Lord Rama as per faith and belief of the Hindus, belongs to plaintiffs (Suit 5) and shall not be obstructed or interfered in any manner”.Justice Dharam Veer Sharma also concluded that Lord Ram’s place of birth was a juristic person and a deity and that the ASI had proved that the disputed structure was built after demolition of a “massive Hindu religious structure”. Justice Sibghat Ullah Khan also opined that Hindus treated/believed that the birthplace of Lord Ram was situated in that area and granted the place where at present the idol is kept in a makeshift temple.
Given the eventual outcome of this long drawn dispute, devotees of Lord Ram owe a debt of gratitude to Deoki Nandan Agarwal, whose efforts from 1989, when he became the ‘next friend’, has in many ways clinched the issue in favour of Lord Ram and Ram Janma Bhoomi.
ASI report was crucial to judges’ deliberationst
The best part of the Ayodhya verdict is the judgment of Justice Sudhir Agarwal. Though a huge affair running to over 5,200 pages, his is one of the most organised and best-written judgments. One has only to look at the index he has provided (at p5136-5218) in Volume 21 of the judgment to get to what one wants — whether it is to know what the decision was on any of the issues, or to search for any documentary evidence or oral testimony used or any case law considered. Any reasonably skilled reader of legal documents may use the index as the key to unravel the judgment in a couple of days, which might otherwise take a fortnight.
That explains how articles like this appear in such a short time. It must have taken Justice Agarwal long periods of stress and labour to produce such a wonderful judicial document. More, to maintain confidentiality he must have done lots of the work himself. Also for writing the main judgment, he has analysed minutely all the evidence, documentary, oral and technical, himself; so that the other judgments just supplement his where there is agreement. But for his huge effort, it would be extremely difficult to unravel the Ayodhya verdict. If Justice Khan could write his “very short” judgment it is thanks to Justice Agarwal writing a very long one.
The Ayodhya verdict is not just a legal affair. It discusses, frankly, but with sensitivity, the Hindu-Muslim interface based on historic facts. It also touches upon history, archeology, sociology, religion and related disciplines. A reading of the verdict will reveal its reach and depth. So the nation must be grateful to the judges, particularly Justice Agarwal, for a stupendous work.The criticality of Justice Agarwal’s judgment, in the overall Ayodhya verdict, is manifest in that, virtually what he has said has turned out to be the final verdict. This is because, with Justice Sharma and Justice Khan taking almost divergent positions, to the extent Justice Agarwal agreed with either of them on any issue his views became the final view on that issue. Just see the effect of his view on the most sensitive issue in the Ayodhya case, namely, was a preexisting Hindu temple destroyed to make way for the mosque?
Even though he agrees that a massive broken Hindu structure was found under the mosque, Justice Khan does not agree that any Hindu structure was demolished to build the disputed mosque. But Justice Sharma is firm that a Hindu temple was indeed demolished to build the mosque. Justice Agarwal analyses the evidence over some 900 pages (from 3513 to 4415) and after holding that a Hindu temple predated the mosque at the spot, he says, on evidence, that “it can safely be said that the erstwhile structure was a Hindu temple and it was demolished, whereafter the disputed structure was raised” (p4415). This makes it the Court’s view. But, having held that a Hindu temple existed before the mosque was constructed, Justice Agarwal was not keen to pursue the demolition issue. But he does. Why? Read on.
He was compelled to do so by the lies of the experts relied upon by the Muslim parties. Prefacing that, for the purposes of the case, it was “sufficient” to stop at finding “that the mosque had been raised” on a pre-existing “massive temple”, Justice Agarwal writes [at p4333], “it would not have been necessary to tell positively that there existed a massive temple structure, which was demolished and thereafter the disputed structure was raised”.He then explains why he did that thus: the statement of so many experts appearing on behalf of the plaintiffs (Sunni Waqf Board) asserting that “temples in past were never demolished by then Muslim rulers or invaders from Persia etc, is so blatant a lie” that he was “reluctant to ignore it without referring to some well-known historical” account of the demolition of Hindu temples, some “written by Muslim writers themselves.”
Only after that, considering (from p4333 to p4415) the massive evidence about destroying temples, including at Ayodhya, Justice Agarwal concluded that a Hindu temple was indeed destroyed to build the mosque. Yet the visual media kept insisting throughout Sept 30 that the Court had indeed held that “no temple was destroyed to build the mosque”. So, till now, the people do not know the truth that Justice Agarwal has found; they only believe as true the lie that the media has telecast.
The critical evidence that became one of the most contentious issues between the Hindu parties and the Muslims parties in the court was the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) Report which established that a massive structure “indicative of the remains which are distinctive features” of “the temples of North India” existed under the mosque.
The first point to note was that the ASI was brought in by the court on its own in 2002, not by any party or the government. The ASI did the GPR survey and excavation under the orders of the court and under supervision by two judicial officers appointed by the court, in the presence of the counsel for the parties.
But the most disgusting part of this critical exercise, the importance of which to the case is brilliantly captured by Justice Agarwal (p3869-4333), was the way the Muslim parties attacked the ASI work in court, including on the ground that the BJP was ruling then, and that the ASI team did not include sufficient number of Muslims in the excavation work. This led to the court chiding them for suffixing experts with “Muslim”, “Hindu” or “Christian” (Justice Agarwal p230). But now, after the verdict, the secularists attack the court for relying on the ASI report in almost the same language the Muslim parties used to attack the ASI prior to the verdict!
But the otherwise well-conceived and best-written judgment badly slipped, in law and in judicial wisdom, on the division of the disputed site.
Division will escalate dispute
The otherwise legally proper and judiciously sound Ayodhya verdict has suffered serious legal haemorrhage by the decision of Justice Khan and Justice Agarwal to divide the disputed land into three parts and give one-third each to Hindus, Muslims and the Nirmohi Akhara. This article explains that fatal infirmity. An issue where law is mixed with facts, it calls for some strenuous reading to know what the deadly defect in the judgment is. To recall, the short facts are: in their two suits, the Hindus claim the disputed site as exclusively their own; in their suit, the Muslims claim it exclusively as their own; in its suit, the Nirmohi Akhara too claims it as exclusively its own. None of them had asked for nor would accept to share the disputed land with any other or the others.
To simplify the law for the uninitiated, the law says that a person filing a suit has to plead his case properly and clearly, and also ask for reliefs in clear terms. The court will look only what suitor says in his plaint and his opponents in response, nothing else, to know what is the case. It will then frame the contentious issues and decide them on the basis of the pleadings of the parties and evidence tendered by them. The principal issues decided on that basis by the Allahabad High Court, unanimously or by 2:1 majority, in the present case are: one, the rights of the Hindus over the Ram Janmabhoomi never ceased at any point in time; two, the Muslims were never in possession of the disputed premises at any point in time; three, the Muslims failed to prove their possession of any part of the disputed land; four, the last time the Muslims did namaz on the disputed property was on 16.12.1949; five, the Hindus never admitted possession by Muslims at any time, even in the suit of 1885; six, Muslims never acquired title even by adverse possession; seven, the Akhara never had possession nor acquired title by adverse possession; eight, the suits of Muslims and the Akhara, having been filed beyond the limitation period, are dismissed. On this basis, the court dismissed the suits of Muslims and Akhara, thus denying any relief. While, Justice Sharma allowed the suits of Hindus in full, Justice Agarwal and Justice Khan allowed the Hindus’ suit partly.On why they ruled partitioning of the disputed land, Justice Agarwal and Justice Khan have said that under a provision (Order 7 Rule 7) in the Civil Procedure Code they had the authority to give less relief than what the Hindus had prayed for in their suits. So by assuming that they had the power to reduce the share of the Hindus, the two judges seem to have thought that they had also the power to give the balance to Muslims (1/3) and the Akhara (1/3); in the process what the two judges have done is to give Muslims and Akhara rights, which Justice Sharma and Justice Agarwal have separately declared they do not have. Also none of the three parties had asked for what the court has done. The first principle is that, any relief beyond what the suits set out in pleadings and prayers can only be given at the instance of one of the parties; not by the court on its own motion like it has done in this case. If parties themselves had not asked for anything outside the pleadings, the court cannot go beyond their pleadings at all.
The law on this point has never been in doubt. The Madras High Court has ruled in 1998 (Arunachalm Pillai Vs Ramu Mudaliar and others) that where each party claims exclusive title to the property and none of them accept the right of the other (exactly as in the Ayodhya case) the question of partitioning the property between them does not arise at all (under the very provision of law cited by the two judges in Ayodhya case). The courts in Patna, Kolkata, and the Madras High Court itself have ruled this principle earlier. As far back as 1991 the Supreme Court (Om Prakash V Ram Kumar (1991) 1 SCC 441) had ruled that even if a party asks for reliefs outside his pleadings the court can never allow them; by doing so it will prejudice rights of the other party.
So the settled legal position is this: even if parties, like the Ayodhya parties, who have filed suit asserting exclusive rights against one another, ask for partition, the court cannot grant it; and in no event the court can do it without the parties asking for it. None of these judicial rulings seem to have been noticed by the two judges. Had one of the parties asked for partition, the other party would have brought the case laws to the court’s notice. That is why law requires that the court should decide no issue that is not put to the parties. An order contrary to this principle is, in law, without jurisdiction. Civil law pundits would cite the old maxim of Coram Non Judici to say that the courts — read Justice Khan and Justice Agarwal — have no jurisdiction to do what they have done.
Now that they have passed the judgment, the judges will have to write a decree in accordance with the judgment. Assume that the judges can write a decree in the Hindus’ suit giving them less than their claim of 1/3 share. The suits of Muslims and Akhara having been dismissed, how could a decree be written in their favour? If no decree could be passed in their favour in their suits, they cannot get the 1/3 share at all. And no decree could be passed in the suits of the Hindus in favour of Muslims and Akhara! Therefore, the 1/3 gift by the two judges to them each will be only on paper. So a new battle will start only at the point if the two judges attempt to write the decree for two-thirds of the disputed land in favour of the Muslims and the Akhara whose suits stand dismissed.
The legal unsoundness aside, the decision to divide the disputed land and award 1/3 each to the Muslims and the Akhara, stands out contrary to the spirit of the otherwise judicious judgment. It has put roadblock on the temple construction; how could a temple to which a million people come on Ram Navami day be accommodated in one acre of land (a third of the disputed area) with a mosque beside. It will be an invitation to a law and order disaster.
Many idealists welcome this action of the two judges as an ideal solution. But, in sensitive issues like relations between Hindus and Muslims (many among whom still share bitter memories of past) the ideal is not practical; only what is practical is ideal. This sense of idealism without practical sense is that what seems to have led the two judges into the judicially erroneous decision to divide the disputed land.
QED: The historic Ayodhya judgment has, thanks to this fatal defect, now less potential to resolve the dispute and more potential to escalate it.