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  India   All India  01 Apr 2017  Supreme Court: Won’t mediate in Ayodhya tangle

Supreme Court: Won’t mediate in Ayodhya tangle

Published : Apr 1, 2017, 1:12 am IST
Updated : Apr 1, 2017, 3:59 am IST

Subramanian Swamy told the court that he had filed an intervention application as his fundamental right to worship was being affected.

Supreme Court of India (Photo: PTI)
 Supreme Court of India (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, who had on March 21 offered to mediate and help resolve the Ayodhya Ram temple-Babri Masjid title dispute, withdrew his offer on Friday, putting to rest his controversial suggestion of an out-of-court settlement.

The Supreme Court’s proposal, Justice Khehar clarified, was based on the erroneous understanding that BJP leader Dr Subramanian Swami, who had approached the court requesting early hearing of the appeals pending since 2010, was a party to the ongoing litigation.

The CJI, sitting with Justice D.Y. Chhandrachud, said on Friday, “You did not tell us that you were not a party to the case, we only got to know that from the press.”

Dr Swamy told the court that he had filed an intervention application as his fundamental right to worship was being affected. “My right to offer prayer and worship is affected by the pending case and I had filed an application,” he told the court.

Counsel for the parties to the dispute told the court that Dr Swamy had made a “mention” for early hearing without informing them.

The bench then said that there was no urgency and it was therefore not going to fast-track the matter. The appeals against the Allahabad high court’s 2010 judgment will come up in the normal course.

After the court’s refusal to expedite the matter, Dr Swamy said he was not happy. “So don’t be happy,” the top court said.

Three years ago Dr Swamy had filed a plea seeking permission to build a Ram temple at the site of the demolished Babri mosque though he is not a party to the main appeals against the 2010 Allahabad high court verdict that mandated a three-way division of the disputed 2.77- acre site.

The Lucknow bench of Allahabad high court had ruled in favour of partitioning the land equally among three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and the Ram Lalla (infant Lord Ram), represented by the Hindu Mahasabha.

On March 21, when Dr Swami made a “mention” for early hearing of the appeals pending since 2010, the CJI had suggested an out-of-court settlement to the dispute observing that issues of “religion and sentiments” are best resolved through talk and asked him to mention the matter on March 31.

The CJI had then offered a sitting judge to mediate between the parties.

“If you want any sitting judge to sit in-between, we can give you one. You can have me. Or you can have my brother (Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul). We will not then hear the case later. You need a moderator to sit in-between because there are tough issues to sort out. But this is the best way to sort such issues out. Speak to them again. Any sitting judge of you choice. Take whoever. These are issues of religion involving sentiments. Sit across the board and settle.”

The CJI’s offer of medation had evoked mixed response. While Muslim bodies were baffled and upset, Hindu bodies had welcomed it.

Tags: j.s. khehar, supreme court, babri masjid, ayodhya ram temple
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi