Won’t join mediation effort, Ram Lalla lawyer tells SC in Ayodhya case
Ram Lalla Virajman will not join a renewed effort to carry out parallel mediation proceedings to resolve the Ayodhya dispute, senior lawyer CS Vaidynathan who represents the infant deity Ram, told the Supreme Court’s five-judge bench on Monday.
The clarification comes days after the top court allowed the mediation panel to continue its efforts for a negotiated settlement to the land title dispute at the request of two Muslim parties. But the court, which has targeted completing the hearings by 18 October, had made it clear that this would be a simultaneous exercise and the bench would continue its hearings.
In all, there are 14 petitions against the 2010 Allahabad high court judgment delivered in four civil suits. The high court had ruled that the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and the Ram Lalla Virajman, which represents the infant deity Ram.
In course of the hearings last month, senior lawyer CS Vaidyanathan had underscored that there could not be joint possession of Lord Ram’s birthplace since the “janmasthan [birthplace] itself is the deity”. He has argued that joint possession would cause destruction and division of the deity and that is not possible”.
At Monday’s hearing, Vaidyanathan also ruled out any possibility of joining the mediation effort, insisting that he was making this explicitly clear since many reports relating to mediation were doing the rounds. “No body from Ram Lalla’s side will participate in any mediation,” he said.
There had been little support for the mediation plan from the Hindu parties which wanted the top court to deliver its verdict.
The five-judge SC bench started holding daily hearings from August this year to fast-track the case that has been pending for decades after an SC-appointed mediation panel failed to develop a consensus among the parties to arrive at an amicable resolution.
A body of Ayodhya seers has already distanced themselves from renewed initiative by a group of Muslims to open back-door channel and mediation process.
The bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi intends to deliver its judgment before 17 November when the CJI is due to retire.