In its effort to put to rest the 70-year old legal battle on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, the Shia Central Waqf Board of Uttar Pradesh on 8 August 2017 told the Supreme Court that a mosque could be built in a Muslim-dominated area at some distance from disputed site in Ayodhya.
In an affidavit, the board also told the court that the Babri Masjid (mosque) site was its property and only it was entitled to hold negotiations for an amicable settlement of the dispute. The Shia Board is one of the parties in the pending appeals in the apex court.
The affidavit was filed by advocate MC Dhingra.
The Shia Waqf Board also informed the apex court that the 15th Century Babri Masjid was a Shia Waqf (endowment) and their Sunni counterpart were mere interlopers led by hardliners, fanatics and non-believers, who do not want an amicable settlement with the Hindu sects involved. Sunni counterpart has been at the frontline of the 70-year-old the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute.
Other suggestions from the Shia Board
• It suggested setting up of a high-power judicial-political panel headed by a retired Supreme Court judge to amicably settle the dispute.
• It asked the court to appoint the committee that comprises two retired Allahabad high court judges, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, nominee of the Prime Minister besides representatives of litigating parties.
• It suggested that it is of the view that the proximity of place of worships – Masjid and Mandir – should be avoided as much as possible as the loudspeakers of the two denominations tend to disturb the religious performances of each other, often leading to conflicts, bringing acrimony between the two factions.
• The Shia Waqf board in its affidavit said that out-of-court settlement should be explored to end the dispute.
It said, "Considering the Muslim tenets of living in peace and harmony and respecting the religious sentiments of other communities following different religions, in the instant case Hindu Community, it is ready and willing to conclude peaceful settlement of the dispute, which it fondly hopes will be acceptable to all the stake holders."
The 30-page affidavit assumes significance as it has been filed within a few days of the apex court agreeing to fast track hearing appeals challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict on the land dispute in the case.
The appeals that challenge the September 2010 judgement of the Allahabad High Court in the title dispute is coming up for hearing, after a seven-year hiatus, before a Special Bench of Justice Dipak Misra, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer on 11 August 2017.
The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court in its verdict of 30 September 2010 divided the disputed plot (2.77 acres area) three ways between the Board, Ram Lalla, Nirmohi Akhara. This verdict was immediately challenged by different parties before the apex court but no progress has been made since 2010.
The Mughal-era mosque was demolished by Kar Sevaks on 6 December 1992.
Where: In Ayodhya
When: 8 August 2017
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