Meanwhile, an important witness in the Babri Masjid demolition case died in Ayodhya after suffering a heart attack.
The Supreme Court on Friday will hear BJP MP Subramanian Swamy whom the apex court had asked to consult the all parties concerned to find a solution to the Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid row. Terming the Ayodhya temple dispute a “sensitive” and “sentimental matter”, a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar had said that such religious issues can be solved through negotiations and offered to mediate to arrive at an amicable settlement. The observations had come after Swamy mentioned the matter seeking urgent hearing of the issue. Swamy said that it has been over six years and the matter needed to be heard at the earliest. The Parliamentarian told the top court that he had approached the Muslim community members who told him that judicial intervention was required to solve the matter.
Supreme Court’ suggestion
“You must make fresh attempts to arrive at a consensual decision. If required, you must choose a moderator to end the dispute. If the parties wants me to sit with mediators chosen by both the sides for negotiations, am ready to take up the task. Even the services of my brother judges can be availed for the purpose,” the CJI said. The top court said that it may also appoint a principal negotiator if the parties want.
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Political Parties’ reactions
While the BJP had welcomed the Supreme Court’s suggestion of an out-of-court settlement of the Ayodhya dispute, CPI(M) virtually rejected the suggestion saying it was a matter of law and not a matter of political settlement. The Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC) also had cast aspersion over the suggestion claiming that it was not possible with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Aditya Nath Yogi at the helm of affairs.
Subramanian Swamy’s claim
Notably, on February 26 last year, the apex court had allowed Swamy to intervene in the pending matters relating to the Ayodhya title dispute with his plea seeking construction of Ram temple at the site of the demolished disputed structure. The BJP leader had earlier moved the plea for a direction to allow construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya at the disputed site and had mentioned it before a bench headed by the then Chief Justice T S Thakur for an urgent hearing.
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In his petition, Swamy had claimed that under the practices prevalent in Islamic countries, a mosque could be shifted to any other place for public purposes like constructing road, whereas a temple once constructed cannot be touched. He had also sought directions to expedite the disposal of several petitions challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict of three-way division of the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya on September 30, 2010.
Other related developments
Meanwhile, an important witness in the Babri Masjid demolition case died in Ayodhya after suffering a heart attack. Mohammad Aslam Ansari suffered a heart attack on Monday at his residence in Ayodhya, his family members said. Ansari was the nephew of late Hashim Ansari who was the oldest litigant in the case.
The son of one of the main litigants in the Ram Janam Bhumi-Babri Masjid land dispute has written to the Supreme Court raising objections to Swamy seeking urgent hearing in the case without informing all the parties concerned. Mohammad Hashim Ansari’s son has written to the Secretary General of the apex court that time and again the Rajya Sabha MP mentioned the matter before the Chief Justice of India without even informing the Advocate On Record including the lawyer who has been appearing for his father.
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Ansari, one of the oldest litigant in the Ayodhya dispute, had died in July last year due to heart-related ailments at the age of 95. He was first to file the suit in the court of civil judge of Faizabad on the matter.
“It was reported by media that Dr Subramanian Swamy had mentioned the matters on March 21, 2017 for its day to day hearing before this court(Chief Justice of India). It is submitted that the above proceedings arise out of original suit and in none of the aforesaid suits Dr Swamy is a party….
“On earlier occasions also, Dr Swamy has made oral mentioning of the matter and despite request, has not informed the concerned AORs about the mentioning stating that he is not obliged to inform. Considering the sensitivity of the matter, I wish to place on record my objection to such mentioning of the matter by Dr Swamy without informing all the concerned AORs,” said the letter from Ansari’s son Iqbal.
(With PTI inputs)