1949 – 2019: Legal battle for Ayodhya

Ayodhya Ram Temple: – Timeline of legal struggle for the holy shrine

1528: According to the inscription on its walls, the Babri Masjid constructed on the orders of King Babur after demolishing (the ruins of) a temple at the birthplace of Rama.
1853: Hindus resisted for the right of worship in their holy shrine as temple was demolished to build the mosque.
1859: The possession of site led to the community clashes. Hence, to appease the then Muslim ruler and a section of society Britishers built a fence that separates the places of worships which means the inner court to be used by Muslims and the outer court by Hindus.
1885 (Suit No. 61/280) in court of Faizabad Sub-Judge against Secretary of
State, India: It was the first legal representation made by any the Hindu side. Mahant Raghubar Das filed a suit to gain legal title to the land and for
permission to construct a temple on the ‘chabutra’ (raised platform) in the
eastern courtyard. The mahant Das was the mahant of the ‘janamsthan
(birthplace) of Lord Ram and said the ‘chabutra’ was the Lord’s birthplace.
1886: Mahant Raghubar Das appeals against the order in court of Faizabad
District Judge. Although District Judge Col FEA Chamier dismisses suit filed by Raghubar Das on March 18, 1886 said: “It is most unfortunate that a Masjid should have been built on land held sacred by Hindus.”
1870-1923: As the controversy spread further, several official publications of the time started taking note of it. It was even mentioned in some of the gazetteers published at the time. Legal battle started to put its impact socially also. A stone marker reading “No 1 Ram Janam Bhoomi” was placed at the main entrance of the mosque.December 22-23, 1949: On the night between the 22nd 23rd December, 1949 the deity of Bhagwan Sri Rama was installed with due ceremony under the central dome of the building. Jawaharlal Nehru the then Prime Minister took a stand on the installation of the idols and insisted that the Idol should be removed but the local official K.K.K. Nair, refused to carry out orders.
1950: First Suit No.1 was filed by Sh. Gopal Singh Visharad as a devotee of Lord Rama seeking permission to do worship and asked the court to remove all barriers, problems in his worship being a citizen. In this continuation several suits were filed. Suit No.2 bearing No. 25 of 1950 was filed by Paramhans Ram Chandra Das in 1950; Suit No. 3 was filed on 17.12.1959 by Nirmohi Akhara; Suit No. 4 was filed on 18.12.1961 by Sunni Wakf Board, and the last Suit being Suit No. 5 was filed on 1.7.1989 by Bhagwan Sri Ram Virajman at Sri Rama Janam Bhumi, Ayodhya Through his Next Friend.
1959: Nirmohi Akhara emerges as a new contender and suit for the possession of the site who also claimed themselves as the custodian of the spot at where Lord Rama was born.
1986: Based on Hari Shankar Dubey’s plea, a district court directed to unlock the gate for ‘Darshan’ to the Hindu community. Some Maulvies didn’t digest and understand the decision to open the gate for worship. The intention behind the decision to open the gate was because Lord Rama can’t be locked up and it should be worshiped as per rituals. But Muslims set up Babri Masjid Action Committee. As a result, the gate was opened for less than an hour and again remains locked.
1989: The former VHP vice-president Deoki Nandan Agarwala suit file for the title and possession at the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court.
August 14, 1989: Allahabad High Court ordered maintenance of status quo in respect of the Ram Mandir.
December 6, 1992: Disputed structure demolished. Demolition caused
nationwide riots and protests.
1992: Librahan Commission (Librahan Ayodhya Commission for Inquiry) was set up to investigate the destruction of the disputed structure of under retired High Court Judge M. S. Liberhan by an order of the Indian Home Union Ministry.
April 3, 1993: Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act’ passed for
acquisition of 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. Supreme Court exercising its jurisdiction under Article 139A transferred the writ petitions, which were pending in the High Court.
October 24, 1994: Supreme Court says in the historic Ismail Faruqui case that mosque was not integral to Islam.
July 1996: During this year, Allahabad High Court clubs all civil suits under the single table.
April 2002: Allahabad High Court begins hearing on determining who owns the disputed site.
2002: The High Court passes an order to the Archaeological Survey of India to find out if there would be evidence of the temple beneath the disputed
January 2003: The Archaeological Survey of India started excavation to find out the evidence of temple beneath of the disputed structure. ASI excavation revealed pre-existence of ‘massive structure’ underneath Disputed Structure. The Muslim Parties did not amend their Pleadings to take any alternative plea to meet the discovery of the massive structure beneath Disputed Structure.Further, The ASI Report clearly mentions that the Western Wall (W5) of Disputed Structure stands directly over Western Wall (W16) of the Temple without any layer of earth or other strata between the two walls which should have existed at the top if there was no structure on spot when construction of Babri Masjid commenced. Wall W5 standing directly over Wall W156, proves that Babri Masjid was erected over and with full knowledge of pre-existence of a structure.
March 13, 2003: Supreme Court says, in the Aslam alias Bhure case, no
religious activity of any nature is allowed at the acquired land.
June 2009: The Liberhan commission investigating events leading up to the
mosque’s demolition submits its report – 17 years after it began its inquiry.
September 30, 2010: Allahabad High Court, 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: Supreme Court stays Allahabad High Court verdict on Ayodhya
land dispute.
2010-2011 Appeals were preferred before Hon’ble Supreme Court challenging the judgment of the High Court.
Feb 26, 2016: Subramanian Swamy files plea in SC seeking construction of Ram Temple at the disputed site.
March 21, 2017: Chief Justice of India (CHI) JS Khehar suggests out-of-court
settlement among rival parties.
August 7, 2017: Supreme Court constitutes three-judge bench to hear pleas
challenging the 1994 verdict of the Allahabad High Court.
August 8, 2017: UP Shia Central Waqf Board tells SC mosque could be built in a Muslim-dominated area at a reasonable distance from the disputed site.
November 20, 2017: UP Shia Central Waqf Board tells SC temple can be built in Ayodhya and mosque in Lucknow.
December 1, 2017: Thirty-two civil rights activists file plea challenging the 2010 verdict of the Allahabad HC.
September 27, 2018: Supreme Court 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.
January 8, 2019: Supreme Court 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. Chanrachud
January 29, 2019: Centre moves Supreme Court seeking permission to return the 67-acre acquired land around the disputed site to original owners.
February 26, 2019: Supreme Court favours mediation, fixes March 5 for order on whether to refer matter to court-appointed mediator.
October 16, 2019: Supreme Court concluded its proceedings in all the appeals after an elaborate hearing which continued on daily basis from
August 6, 2019