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Ayodhya land dispute: SC reserves order on court appointed and monitored mediation for permanent solution

The top court on February 26 had said it would pass an order on March 6 on whether to refer the matter to a court-appointed mediator.

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New Delhi Updated on: March 06, 2019 16:26 IST
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The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, reserved its order on the issue of referring Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case to court appointed and monitored mediation for “permanent solution”.

CJI Ranjan Gogoi said, "Parties to suggest name for mediator or panel for mediators. We intend to pass the order soon."

The top court on February 26 had said it would pass an order on March 6 on whether to refer the matter to a court-appointed mediator.

A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had asked the contesting parties to explore the possibility of amicably settling the decades old dispute through mediation, saying it may help in "healing relations".

Even if there is "one per cent chance" of settling the dispute amicably, the parties should go for mediation, the bench, also comprising Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer, had observed.

The suggestion for mediation was mooted by Justice Bobde, during the hearing when both the Hindu and the Muslim sides were sparring over the veracity of documents related to the case which were translated by the Uttar Pradesh government and filed with the apex court registry.

"We are considering it (mediation) very seriously. You all (parties) have used the word that this matter is not adversarial. We would like to give a chance to mediation even if there is one per cent chance," the bench had said.

"We would like to know your (both parties) views on it. We do not want any third party to make a comment to jeopardise the entire process," the bench had said.

While some of the Muslim parties agreed to the court's suggestion on mediation, some Hindu bodies including the Ram Lalla Virajman opposed it, saying several such attempts have failed in the past.

"Do you seriously think that the entire dispute for so many years is for property? We can only decide property rights but we are considering the possibility of healing relations," the bench had said.

The bench, which posted the main matter for hearing after eight weeks and directed its registry to provide translated copies of documents to the parties within six weeks to check their veracity, said it wanted to explore the possibility of mediation to utilise the time till the next date of hearing.

Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

Sudhanshu Mittal bats for Ram Mandir in new book

Cultural restoration of sites of worship has been going on since centuries, says BJP leader Sudhanshu Mittal, who in his new book "RSS: Building India through sewa" calls for a Ram Temple at the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya.

"This struggle for a Ram Mandir to be constructed in a country where the majority population is Hindu, is unparalleled anywhere in the world. Can we imagine Christians being unable to reconstruct a church if the one in the Vatican was destroyed by invaders, with devotees crying for centuries?" he asks in the book, scheduled to be launched by Union Minister Smriti Irani and RSS General Secretary Dattatreya Hosabale on March 1.

Mittal maintains that it is an "undisputed fact" that a Ram Temple existed until its barbaric destruction by the forces of Muslim invader Babur, led by Mir Baqi in 1528.

He says that it is only Hindus, owing to their non-violent nature, who have been at the receiving end of "this huge historical wrong".

Mittal, a prominent member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since its inception, further says that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has always had a consistent stand on the issue that a Ram Mandir must be built at the site in Ayodhya. He also says that the RSS's affiliate bodies have worked hard on the legal front and in mass advocacy for the cause.

"But nowhere has RSS given the call to destroy any structure. For many in India fed on a diet of biased news, it is easy to see the demolition of the already dilapidated Babri Masjid by kar sevaks in 1992 as an assault on democracy and what not, when only a sensitive heart can see that action as the expression of a hurt and aggrieved Hindu community that has suffered injustices and historical wrongs and was forced to see a monument dedicated to Babur, a mass murderer of Hindus, on the sacred site of Lord Shri Ram," he notes in the book, published by New Delhi-based Har Anand Publications.

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