A senior member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) today while referring to Kapil Sibal’s contention in the Supreme Court over deferment of hearing in the Ayodhya case said that the eminent lawyer had only gone by the discussions held with the board. “Whatever Kapil Sibal said in the court has got nothing to do with the Congress nor with the Sunni Waqf Board…The stand was taken in consultation with senior members of the Board who had held a meeting in New Delhi in this connection on December 4,” Zafaryab Jilani, who is also a senior counsel, told PTI here. The board’s general secretary, secretary and some other senior members held deliberations about the hearing that was to start a day later and discussed a four-page note prepared by senior counsel Yusuf Hatim Muchchala in this regard, he said.
The note emphasised that in case of a day-to-day hearing, the atmosphere of the country could be communalised and could also have an impact on the elections. It was felt that this matter need not be made an election issue and therefore the hearing should be taken up after the completion of the election, Jilani said. The same note was handed over to Sibal, who read a portion of it in the court, Jilani said.
To a question on the Sunni Waqf Board dissociating itself from Sibal’s contention, Jilani said that it was true but it was because of some clerical mistake that Sibal’s name found mention as a senior advocate of the Waqf Board. Sibal was fielded by the AOR (advocate on record) of Hashim Ansari’s son Iqbal Ansari, Jilani said. Hashim Ansari, one of the oldest members of Babri Masjid Action Committee and a litigant in the case, died last year at the age of 95 due to heart-related complications. Though the AIMPLB is not a party in the case, it is overseeing the cases concerning the Muslim side and also bearing the expenses of the legal proceedings.