The Supreme Court will on Wednesday hold a crucial hearing to decide whether the politically and religiously sensitive issue can be adjudicated through mediation.(HT file photo)
The Supreme Court will on Wednesday hold a crucial hearing to decide whether the politically and religiously sensitive issue can be adjudicated through mediation.(HT file photo)

Ayodhya case: Waqf chief says Muslim parties open to talks

A majority of litigants in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case have communicated their consent for a dialogue to the Supreme Court. But three important parties to the dispute have reportedly not given their consent.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON MAR 05, 2019 11:58 PM IST

A majority of litigants in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case have communicated their consent for a dialogue to the Supreme Court. But three important parties to the dispute have reportedly not given their consent. They are the Hindu Mahasabha, Ram Lalla Virajman, which represents the infant deity, and Mahant Suresh Das.

The Supreme Court will on Wednesday hold a crucial hearing to decide whether the politically and religiously sensitive issue can be adjudicated through mediation.

Triloki Nath Pandey, who is representing Ram Lalla Virajman in the Supreme Court, said: “I am against any form of mediation in the case at this stage.”

“In the past, all efforts for out-of-court settlement of the dispute through mediation have failed. I have informed the court that I am against any form of mediation even if it is through a court appointed mediator,” he said.

The apex court on February 26 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 of India (CJI) 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.”

“I would be representing the Sunni Central Waqf Board, in person, in civil appeal number 921/2011 in the mediation process, if any, initiated by the orders of the Supreme Court,” said Zufar Ahmed Faruqi, the chairman of the waqf board.

“All Muslim parties in the Ayodhya case have expressed their willingness after the apex court’s observation to explore mediation. Only the Hindu Mahasabha, Ram Lala Virajman and Mahant Suresh Das did not agree,” said Zafaryab Jilani, waqf board counsel and secretary of the AIMPLB.

He said past attempts for an out-of-court settlement of the issue had failed and this had apparently made some of the parties to the dispute sceptical.

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