SC reserves order on referring Ayodhya case for mediation

The Supreme Court today reserved order on the issue of referring Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case to a court-appointed and monitored mediation for “permanent solution”.The court also said it was conscious of the gravity of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute and the outcome of mediation on the body politic of the country.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the case was not only about the property but also about sentiment and faith. “Parties to suggest a name for mediator or panel for mediators. We intend to pass the order soon,” he added.

The bench, which also comprises Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer heard submissions from various Hindu and Muslim bodies involved in the m atter. “We are not concerned about what Mughal ruler Babur had done and what happened after. We can go into what exists in the present moment,” the bench said.

BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy, while reacting to the latest development, remarked, “Mediation in Ayodhya Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case is a sterile exercise.”

Meanwhiloe, Hindu Mahasabha, one of the parties to the Ayodhya land title case, told the Supreme Court that it is not ready for any kind of mediation to resolve the dispute. “For us, it is a sentimental issue,” the Mahasabha told the top court, asking the five-judge constitution bench to decide the decades-old Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi land dispute case.

“It is the property of the deity and nobody has the right to mediate,” the group said, underlining that the parties had been waiting since 1950 for a decision.

Appearing for the Muslim parties, senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan told the court that it has to bind everybody otherwise it would be ignoring the fact there is a procedure under the law. He said the Supreme Court should not go into the “sentiments” of people or communities.

Justice DY Chandrachud told Dhawan that a dispute of this nature which is not just between two people but is a wider dispute between two communities. Justice Chandrachud sought to know from Rajeev Dhawan whether this issue can be mediated or not.

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