SC may look at Sunni Board offer to drop Ayodhya claim

Last Updated 17 October 2019, 04:06 IST

The vexed Ayodhya dispute witnessed a new twist on the last day of the hearing of the case in the Supreme Court, when the Sunni Central Waqf Board, one of the main plaintiffs in the matter, reportedly offered to withdraw from the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid Title suits provided certain conditions, it put forward, were met.

Although there was no confirmation from the Board in this regard, sources familiar with the case, said that the Board had made the offer through the mediation panel, which was formed by the apex court to resolve the dispute through mediation.

The apex court had formed a three-member panel comprising retired SC judge F.M.I.Khalifullah, Sriram Panchu, a lawyer and spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishanker to explore the possibility of a negotiated settlement of the dispute.

Sources said that the Board chairman Z.A.Faruqi, who faced charges of irregularity in the sales and purchase of land by the Board, made this offer to the mediation panel and that it did not have the support of all the members of the Board.

The offer was, however, conditional, sources said.

The conditions, included reverting to pre-15 August 1947 status on all religious places under dispute, withdrawal of claims by the Hindus on the mosques adjoining Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi and Srikrishna Janambhoomi in Mathura, permission to renovate other mosques in Ayodhya and a written guarantee that incident like December 6, 1992 (Babri Masjid was demolished on this day) would not be repeated.

The reported offer by the Board was however out-rightly rejected by other Muslim plaintiffs, who termed it ''irrelevant''.

''Any offer at this point is meaningless...I have no idea under what circumstances the Sunni Board may have made the offer but it does not make any difference...I am not withdrawing,'' Haji Mehboob, one of the Muslim plaintiffs in the case said in Ayodhya.

Senior Sunni cleric and All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) member Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangimahali also echoed similar sentiments.

''All the parties should now wait for the SC verdict and abide by it,'' the cleric said here.

Another Muslim plaintiff Iqbal Ansari also said that the apex court had given a fair hearing to all the litigants and now we should wait for the judgment.

(Published 16 October 2019, 14:14 IST)

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