Hindu, Muslim parties to Ayodhya case reject renewed mediation efforts

Three weeks into the hearing on the issue by a constitutional bench of the apex court, the Sunni Waqf Board and Nirvani Akhara have reportedly expressed willingness for an out of court settlement.

Published: 16th September 2019 06:49 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th September 2019 06:54 PM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court

Supreme Court (Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: Amid reports of renewed mediation efforts allegedly initiated by the Sunni Waqf Board and Nirvani Akhara in the Ayodhya dispute case, both the Hindu and Muslim parties engaged in litigation pertaining to the title suit of the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case have rejected any such attempt, calling it a “delaying tactic” here on Monday.

Three weeks into the day-to-day hearing in the vexed issue by the five-judge constitutional bench of the apex court, the Sunni Waqf Board and Nirvani Akhara have reportedly expressed their willingness for an out of court settlement of the dispute.

Both parties have reportedly approached the mediation panel headed by retired Justice FMI Kalifullah once again by writing a letter to the three-member panel which was appointed by the Supreme Court in March 2019 with the mandate to find an amicable out-of-court settlement of the issue between the warring Hindu-Muslim parties.

In fact, the mediation panel comprising spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu heard all the aspects of the vexed issue and talked to all the parties concerned. Even after five months of efforts, it failed to fetch desired results and the dispute could not be resolved.

As a result, Chief Justice of India Justice Ranjan Gogoi set up a five-member constitutional bench headed by him and it is conducting a day-to-day hearing in the case since August 5, 2019.

Responding to the renewed mediation efforts, Iqbal Ansai, son of the main litigant late Hashim Ansari, batted for the court to decide the matter which he claimed was already delayed due to a number of reasons.

“The issue is pending with the Supreme Court which is conducting a day-to-day hearing into it. Now when we are hopeful of a decision in the near future, certain forces are trying to derail the hearing,” he said adding that he would accept only what the court would decide. Ansari has been representing his father in the case after his death.

Similarly, Mahant Pramahans Das of Tapasvi Chhaavni accused the Sunni Waqf Board of putting roadblocks in the path of an early decision from the Supreme Court in the matter. “The latest stand taken by the Sunni Waqf Board is a clear indication that it doesn’t want an early solution to the issue in the form of a Supreme Court order. They have been resorting to such tactics all this while and are again doing it,” said the Mahant rejecting any fresh attempt for mediation.

Mahant Satyendra Das, head priest of the makeshift temple at the disputed site, also condemned the parties opting for mediation, saying they were trying to derail the judicial process. “There is no scope for any out of court settlement. Let the Supreme Court decide the matter as early as possible so that a grand Ram temple could be built soon in Ayodhya,” he said.

Muslim parties to the dispute are currently arguing the case in the Supreme Court after Hindu parties completed their arguments in 23 days. Besides Justice Ranjan Gogoi, the other four judges on the constitutional bench comprise Justice SA Bobade, Justice DY Chandrachud. Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S Abdul Nazeer.

The title suit comprising 14 appeals, three writ petitions and another separate petition had been pending in the apex court since January 2011. The warring parties had gone to the SC against an order passed by the Allahabad High Court in September 2010. The HC had provided for three-way distribution of the
disputed land equally among the Nirmohi Akhara, Ram Lala Virajman and Sunni Waqf Board.

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