It's not only about property, but about faith, sentiment: SC on Ayodhya case

The court said that there need not be one mediator but a panel of mediators.

New Delhi: Days after Supreme Court suggested mediation as a way to resolve the issue; Supreme Court said that it is not only about property, but it is about sentiment and faith.

Supreme Court reserved its order on the issue of referring Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case to court-appointed and monitored mediation for a “permanent solution”.

It said it has no control over what happened in the past and is concerned only about resolving the dispute.

With political parties getting involved in the dispute, the top court said that it is conscious of gravity of dispute and outcome of meditation on politics.

The court said that there need not be one mediator but a panel of mediators.

"When the mediation is on, it should not be reported on. It may not be a gag, but no motive should be attributed to anyone when the mediation process is on," Supreme Court added.

Hindu Mahasabha in their argument said, “Hindus are not ready for any mediation. It’s a deity property and nobody has the right to mediate. For us it’s a sentimental issue. Do not refer the matter to mediation. We are waiting for outcome of result since 1950.”

Snubbing the Hindu Mahasabha lawyer, Justice SA Bobde said, “Are you not pre-judging the whole thing. Are you not saying it’s a failure even before it’s attempted? We think that is not fair.”

Justice SA said when the court is ordering mediation, they are not yet assuming somebody will give up something as they believe it’s not primarily a dispute over the 1500 yards of land.

“Do not think we are not conscious of it or do you think you have more faith than us,” questioned Justice SA.

Appearing for the Muslim parties, senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan told the court that it has to bind everybody otherwise it would be ignoring the fact there is a procedure under the law. He said the Supreme Court should not go into the “sentiments” of people or communities.

Justice DY Chandrachud told Dhawan that a dispute of this nature which is not just between two people but is a wider dispute between two communities. Justice Chandrachud sought to know from Rajeev Dhawan whether this issue can be mediated or not.

“If we go through mediation how will the court bind millions,” Dhawan told the court.

“Sentiment will always be there for communities. Sabarimala had sentiment. There will always be some angst,” Justice Chandrachud said.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, "We intend to pass the order soon."

The court had earlier said that even if there was a 1 per cent chance of an amicable resolution, it should be explored.

The Ayodhya title suit reached the Supreme Court after petitioners challenged the Allahabad High Court verdict of 2010. The high court had partitioned the disputed land equally among the three parties representing Ram Lalla (the deity), the Nirmohi Akhara and the Sunni Waqf Board.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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