In a major twist in the Ayodhya case in Supreme Court, the Chief Justice J S Khehar-led bench today withdrew all proposal for mediation and suggestion for out-of-court settlement after coming to know that BJP MP Subramanian Swamy to whom the talks onus was given was not even a party to the pending suit.
At the outset Chief Justice J S Khehar told Swamy : “you are not a party. The press told us”.
Swamy replied: “I am an intervener. I am not interested in the property. Let them take it. I only want that the matter be settled as quickly as possible. I want my faith to be protected”
The CJI then responded that you just want expeditious hearing “but now we dont have time”
Swamy then said liberty be granted to him to make a submission again.
The CJI said “do what ever you want. But now we dont have time. Sorry”.
In a sudden development, the Supreme Court had on March 21 asked why there cannot be an out-of-court settlement to the vexed Ayodhya Ram temple issue saying these were matters of religion and faith and was best solved out of court.
The bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar was hearing a mentioning by BJP leader Subramaniam Swamy who sought an expeditious day-to-day hearing of the appeals filed against the Allahabad High Court order and said they have been pending since nearly seven years.
ĆJI significantly also said the SC is even ready to spare a sitting judge as mediator but put a condition that first all sides including Swamy should sit together and decide if an out of court setttlement could be possible.
“These are matters of religion. Is it possible to give a call? Why dont you make an attempt to sort it out sitting across the table. First you let us know our position then we will decide on a mediator it can be even me”, the CJI had told Swamy.
The appeals filed by the Sunni Waqf Board and other parties five years ago challenge the September 30, 2010 verdict of a three-judge Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court that Hindus have the right to the makeshift temple under the central dome of the Babri Masjid and the three-way division of the land between the parties. The Bench had relied on Hindu faith, belief and folklore to decide.
Swamy 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. While ordering status quo at the site, which means that prayers at Ram Lalla’s make-shift temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya would go on as usual, the apex court had restrained any kind of religious activity on the adjacent 67 acres of land which had been taken over by the Centre.