Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir case: Uttar Pradesh’s Shia Waqf Board today submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court of India. According to ANI, the board in its affidavit said, “Masjid can be located in a Muslim-dominated area at a reasonable distance from Shree Ram birth place.” The Shia Waqf Board told the apex court that Babri Masjid was their property and only they were entitled to negotiate an amicable settlement of the dispute, as per PTI. They added, “Since Babri Masjid was a Shia Waqf, we are alone entitled to negotiate and arrive at a peaceful settlement with other stakeholders.” The 30-page affidavit assumes significance as it has been filed within few days of the apex court agreeing to fast track the hearing on a batch of appeals challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict on the land dispute in the case. The Waqf Board has sought time from the top court for setting up of a committee for exploring an amicable resolution of the vexatious issue.
Zafaryab Jilani, Babri Masjid Action Committee while talking about the affidavit filed by the Shia Waqf Board said, “This is just an appeal, this affidavit has no value in law.” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Subramanian Swamy commented on the situation and said, “According to me this intervention by the Shia Waqf board is god sent.”
The Shia Board is one of the parties in the pending appeals in the apex court. Recently, a three-judge bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer has been constituted by Chief Justice J S Khehar to hear a batch of petitions challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict in the Ayodhya land dispute case from August 11. The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court in 2010 ruled a three-way division of the disputed 2.77 acres area at the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya, according to PTI.