Ram temple case: Kapil Sibal acted on AIMPLB’s advice, says Jilani
The UP Sunni Central Waqf Board, the key litigant in the Babri-Masjid Ram-Janambhoomi case, had on Wednesday distanced itself from Kapil Sibal’s plea saying he was not their counsel in the matter.india Updated: Dec 07, 2017 22:02 IST
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Thursday said senior Supreme Court lawyer Kapil Sibal had gone by the Board’s instructions and advice when he sought deferment of hearing in the Ayodhya case in Supreme Court on December 5.
The UP Sunni Central Waqf Board, the key litigant in the Babri-Masjid Ram-Janambhoomi case, had on Wednesday distanced itself from Sibal’s plea saying he was not their counsel in the matter. “The confusion over who Sibal represented arose because of a clerical error. It is true that he was counsel for Iqbal Ansari, one of the litigants and not Sunni Board. But whatever Kapil Sibal said in the court was on the basis of the stand taken by the AIMPLB,” Babri Masjid Action Committee convener and counsel Zafarayab Jilani told HT.
He said the AIMPLB was not a party in the Ayodhya case but it was bearing all the legal expenses of the case and its decision was binding on the Sunni Board also.
Board’s general secretary Maulana Wali Rahmani, two other secretaries and some other senior members, held deliberations about the hearing that was to start a day later and discussed a four-page note prepared by senior counsel Yusuf Hatim Muchchala in this regard, he said.
“We held three meetings between November and December 4, when the final note was handed over to Sibal. He asked us to remove just two paragraphs from the draft which had references to rulings by a US court,” said Jilani.
The note emphasised that in case of a day-to-day hearing, the atmosphere of the country could be communalised and could also have an impact on the parliamentary elections. It was felt that this matter need not be made an election issue and, therefore, the hearing should be taken up after the completion of the election, Jilani said.
The same note was handed over to Sibal, who read a portion of it in the court, Jilani said.
Sibal was fielded by the AOR (advocate on record) of Hashim Ansari's son Iqbal Ansari, Jilani said. Hashim Ansari, one of the oldest members of Babri Masjid Action Committee and a litigant in the case, died last year at the age of 95 due to heart-related complications.
“For over three years, from 2014 to 2017, the BJP government did nothing to get the case expedited but was now taking interest in it with an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha elections,” he said adding that Sibal’s stand had nothing to do with the Congress nor with the Sunni Waqf Board.