The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) today rejected its executive member Maulana Syed Salman Hussain Nadvi’s compromise formula in the politically sensitive Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid case.
The decision was taken during a crucial meeting of the AIMPLB which took place here to discuss Maulana Nadvi’s proposal in which he had extended support for construction of the Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya and demanded an alternate piece of land for the construction of a mosque.
"The All India Muslim Personal Board (AIMPB) reiterates its resolution of December 1990 & January 93 & once again emphasises the basic level of Shariah that land dedicated for Masjid cannot be sold, gifted, or in any way, alienated. If once dedicated, it vests in Allah. All the attempts to negotiate the settlements in past have been infructuous & there is no proposal offering settlement without sacrificing, the basic tenet has never been put off the board," AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi told reporters.
The Muslim Personal Law Board also decided to constitute a committee that will probe the Maulana Nadvi's statement and recommend what actions can be initiated against him for speaking against the Board's stand.
The development comes at a time when the Supreme Court has begun the final hearing in the case. The apex court, while deferring the hearing to March 14, observed that the matter is purely a "land dispute" and it will be dealt with in normal course.
At the same time, new formulas have come up as an amicable settlement in the case.
Amarnath Mishra, general secretary of Ayodhya Sadbhavna Samanvay Samiti, has proposed an out-of-court settlement formula. The outfit is a coordination committee that supports religious guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar who had yesterday met Muslim leaders in Bengaluru to discuss the case. According to him, the Ram temple should be constructed at the site where the idols are currently kept and Muslims should give up their claim over the land.
The second point says that the disputed site be given to Hindus and Muslims should be given the portion of land that Nirmohi Akharas has been claiming. The third point states that Ram temple should be constructed at the disputed site where the idols of Ram is placed, while the mosque should be built at a nearby place called Yusuf Aara Machine.
On the other hand, AIMPLB member Maulana Salman Nadvi, who yesterday met Art of Living (AOL) founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, extended support for construction of the Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya. He said that an alternate piece of land should be offered for the construction of a mosque. He also added that a university can also be built at that place.
In an exclusive interview with India TV, Maulana Nadvi said that the 'divide and rule' policy of the British created a chasm between Hindus and Muslims because of which a large crowd demolished a mosque and everybody remained a mute spectator.
"The temple already exists at the disputed site. Land should be offered at some other place where a mosque and a university could be constructed," Maulana Nadvi said.
During yesterday’s hearing, there were heated exchanges between two senior advocates appearing for different parties after one of them suggested they should exchange the synopsis of their likely arguments.
The court during the course of an hour-long hearing also clarified that it was first inclined to hear those who were parties to the dispute in the Allahabad High Court. It further said those who have tried to wade into the matter before it and seeking implement as parties will have to wait as the case before it was a "pure land dispute".
A special bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra was hearing the civil appeals, arising out of 2010 verdict of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, which in a 2:1 majority ruling, had ordered that the disputed land be partitioned equally among three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. The bench also comprised Justices Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer.
During the hearing, senior advocate CS Vaidyanathan, representing the deity Ram Lalla Virajman suggested that opposite parties should give synopsis of their line of arguments to the court and exchange with them. This argument of Vaidyanathan made senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan appearing for one of the original parties raise his voice and say that respondents (UP government and Hindu bodies) can't dictate on what propositions he would argue.
"Why should I tell you what will be my arguments. You cannot dictate me. I will argue the way I like. If you want to hear my proposition then I must say Mr. Vaidyanathan you are wrong. You all are wrong. This is my proposition," Dhavan said.
To this, the bench intervened and said that "the same arguments can be made by them for you Dr. Dhavan".
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for Uttar Pradesh government intervened and said, "This kind of hyperbole should be avoided."
At the fag end of hearing, the bench said that there was no point for Dhavan to get angry as the court had not asked for synopsis from anybody.
Giving the heated exchange between Dhavan and Vaidyanathan, a poetic colour, the CJI said, "We do not ask for propositions which lead to assumptions, leading to presumptions, leading to untruth, leading to folly, leading to danger, leading to guilt, which can kill a man."
Dhavan said that he is not guilty of all that. The CJI replied and said that "Mr. Vaidyanathan did not ask for propositions from you."
The bench also expressed its reservation on hearing the matter on day-to-day basis and said, once the matter will start it will go on in normal course.
SC asks parties to file English translation of documents
On being informed by parties that pleadings were almost complete, the bench asked them to file within two weeks the English translations of documents, exhibits and excerpts from vernacular books, which have been used in the high court.
Mehta said that the "appeals were ripe for the hearing" and over 524 exhibits have already been filed. Out of 524, 504 are exhibited documents and 20 are books like Ramayana, Ramcharitmanas and Shrimad Bhagwad Gita, he said adding the testimonies of 87 witnesses, examined in the high court and the report of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have also been filed.
The top court asked its registry to provide copies of the video cassettes, which were part of high court records, to parties of the case on actual cost.
A three-judge bench of the Allahabad High Court, in a 2:1 majority ruling, had in 2010 ordered that the land be partitioned equally among three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.