Will treat Ayodhya only as a land dispute case, says SC

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Friday rejected a compromise formula presented by Maulana Salman Nadwi, one of its prominent members, on the peaceful resolution of the Ayodhya dispute. With these directions, it is expected that the case will be ripe for hearing when it is taken up next at 2 pm on March 14. "Whatever be the case, it is after all a land dispute". The bench said that it would hear the appeals on March 14, 2018, and clarified that it never meant to hear the case on a "day-to-day basis".

The Supreme Court on Thursday warded off requests from 32 eminent persons to intervene in the 70-year-old Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case, which rests in the final tier of adjudication.

Bengaluru, Feb 8 Renewing his mediation efforts on the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute in Ayodhya, Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar today held a meeting here with Muslim leaders, including members from the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and Sunni Waqf Board. The lawyers had also demanded that the case be referred to a five-judge Constitution Bench. The special bench of the apex court is seized of a total 14 appeals filed against the high court judgement delivered in four civil suits.

However, senior counsel Harish Salve, who appeared for the other side, had said that as far as the court was concerned, it was "just a case" and the repercussion of the outcome of the case was none of its outlook. He also said it was not the tradition of the Bar.

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who also appeared for the Muslim parties, urged the court that it should hear the matter on day-to-day basis. The Bench while granting two weeks for completion of translation asked the Registry to supply copies of videos of Archaeological Survey of India, which were submitted as evidence before the Allahabad High Court.

While suggesting that an out-of-the-court settlement is possible in the Ram temple-Babari Masjid dispute, Nadvi said the courts do not join people's heart as the verdict is always in favour of one and against the other. However, the bench wondered what role non-parties or intervenors had in a land dispute which was between the parties to the original title suit before the Allahabad HC.

"At least 700 cases involving ordinary citizens can be disposed of in 25 days if the court deals with them for about an hour-and-a-half", Justice Misra said.

  • Joey Payne