Ram-Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute: Supreme Court suggests out-of-court settlement

Ram-Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute: Supreme Court suggests out-of-court settlement

In a fresh attempt to settle Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, Supreme Court on Tuesday said that it is a ‘sensitive’, ‘sentimental issue’ and should be sorted outside court through discussion.

The apex court said it would step in only if the matter can’t be resolved through talks.

In 2010, the Supreme Court had put a freeze on a judgment by the Allahabad High Court. The matter has been pending since. The judgment by the High Court said Lord Ram was born under the central dome of the makeshift temple in Ayodhya and Hindus have the right to worship there.

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“It is an issue of sentiment and religion. First sit together and sort out.  Both sides employ moderators and hold meetings,” said Chief Justice JS Khehar, while hearing an urgent appeal from senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy. “We can come into the picture if you can’t solve the issue,” he had added.

Swamy had requested the top court to take up an appeal to build the Ram Mandir, which has been pending before it for six years.

The Parliamentarian told the court that he had approached the Muslim community members who told him that judicial intervention was required to solve the matter.

“You must make fresh attempts to arrive at a consensual decision. If required, you must choose a moderator to end the dispute. If the parties wants me to sit with mediators chosen by both the sides for negotiations, am ready to take up the task. Even the services of my brother judges can be availed for the purpose,” the CJI said.

The top court said that it may also appoint a principal negotiator if the parties want.

The bench then asked Swamy to consult the parties and inform it about the decision on March 31.

On February 26 last year, the apex court had allowed Swamy to intervene in the pending matters relating to the Ayodhya title dispute with his plea seeking construction of Ram temple at the site of the demolished disputed structure.

The BJP leader had earlier moved the plea for a direction to allow construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya at the disputed site and had mentioned it before a bench headed by the then Chief Justice T S Thakur for an urgent hearing.

In his petition, Swamy had claimed that under the practices prevalent in Islamic countries, a mosque could be shifted to any other place for public purposes like constructing road, whereas a temple once constructed cannot be touched.

He had also sought directions to expedite the disposal of several petitions challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict of three-way division of the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya on September 30, 2010.

 

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