Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri title suit: UP Sunni Waqf Board not sure if SC will admit mediation proposal

UP Sunni Waqf Board Advocate Shahid Rizvi said a proposal on the Ayodhya-Babri Masjid title suit has been given to the mediation panel; Board willing to withdraw suit if conditions are met

Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri title suit: UP Sunni Waqf Board not sure if SC will admit mediation proposal

Ashlin Mathew

In what seems to be an attempt to scuttle any judgment from being delivered in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute, the advocate for the UP Sunni Waqf Board Shahid Rizvi said a proposal on the Ayodhya-Babri Masjid title suit has been given to the mediation panel and he had stated that they were willing to withdraw the suit if their conditions were met. However, even Rizvi said he is not sure if the Supreme Court will accept this submission.

Rizvi said several Hindu parties have also signed it. The proposal was submitted by the Sunni Waqf Board to the mediation panel, which submitted it to the Registrar of the Supreme Court on Tuesday evening. Some of the Hindu parties are also signatories to this proposal but a few are not.

“We can't disclose the details of the settlement plan which has been submitted to the court. Both sides will be happy with the decision. I have been attempting to settle this out of court since 2017. This is not in contradiction to the case in court. Whenever there is a civil case, there is always an attempt to mediate and settle the case, so that there is a win-win situation for all,” added Rizvi.

“Whatever has been argued in the court stays. Outside the court, when you sit across the table, you don’t go into legalities. Attempts of mediation have happened several times, including before 1991, but nothing materialised,” added Rizvi.

But it has come to light that all the Hindu parties are not signatories to this mediation proposal.

“We are not a part of this proposal. We want the Supreme Court to pronounce the judgment. We will not agree to any such proposals,” said Ravi Ranjan Singh, who is representing petitioner Rajshree Choudhury, the great granddaughter of Subhash Chandra Bose. She claims to represent the original Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha.

Nirmohi Akhara, who filed the first case in 1885 to build a temple in the outer courtyard of Babri Masjid, has not signed this either.

When it was pointed out to Rizvi that out of the three main parties (Nirmohi Akhara, Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas and UP Sunni Waqf Board), two have not signed, Rizvi said, “Today maybe they have not. But, they may change their mind tomorrow.”

But, according to sources, Nirmohi Nirwani, which has the possession of Hanuman Gaddi, a temple in Ayodhya, is a party to this mediation request. This is not the main party to the case.

However, another plaintiff Chandra Prakash Kaushik, who also claims to be national president of Hindu Mahasabha, is one of the signatories of this proposal and he is represented by Barun Sinha. “But, nothing will come of this submission. This is just to create a diversion,” said Amit, who works with Sinha.

Additionally,Ram Janmasthan Punarudhar Samiti, which is one of the plaintiffs in the Ayodhya-Babri Masjid title suit, has also signed the settlement.

The settlement, while seeking to facilitate a Ram temple, seeks the implementation of the 1991 law that lays down status quo for all places of worship that existed on August 15, 1947, repair of all other mosques in Ayodhya and, importantly, construction of a mosque at an alternative site by the Waqf Board.

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