Ayodhya Land Dispute Hearing: Who Said What in Supreme Court 

The court also asked the parties to suggest the name of a mediator or panel of mediators.

Updated
India
2 min read

The Supreme Court on Wednesday, 6 March, reserved its order on whether the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute can be settled through mediation, according to PTI.

A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi heard the contesting parties.

The bench, also comprising Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, heard submissions from various Hindu and Muslim bodies involved in the matter. The court also asked the parties to suggest the name of a mediator or panel of mediators.

What Hindu Bodies Said in the Court

During Wednesday’s hearing, Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer told the parties that they are "seriously giving a chance for mediation."

Justice Bobde was quoted by ANI as saying, "It's about sentiments, about religion and about faith. We are conscious of the gravity of the dispute."

"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," he added.

“We have no control over what happened in the past, who invaded, who was the king, temple or mosque. We know about present dispute.”
Justice SA Bobde

The bench suggested an amicable resolution in the case through mediation, and added, "We intend to pass the order soon."

“You are assuming there will be a compromise and one party will give up and one party will win. Mediation does not necessarily mean that. You are thinking about the outcome,” said justice Bobde.

Hindu Bodies Argue Against Mediation

The counsel appearing for Ram Lalla Virajman, Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha and Mahant Suresh Das said they were opposed to the mediation and added that court-appointed mediation has failed on earlier occasions. However, one group, Nirmohi Akhada agreed to mediation.

Senior advocate CS Vaidyanathan said, "In a case like this, Ayodhya is Ram Janmabhoomi (Ram's birthplace) and it is faith and it is not negotiable. A mosque can be built at some other place. What would be the purpose of mediation?"

"Temple has to be built at Janmasthan. What can be considered is alternative place for mosque. We are ready to crowdfund it. We cannot have a mediation," he said, reported Bar and Bench.

Muslim Bodies Say Mediation Should Be 'Closed to Public'

Advocate Rajiv Dhavan, who was representing Muslim bodies, said that the mediation should be closed to the public.

He also gave details law relating to mediation and the nature of matters which can be sent for mediation.

Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties – the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

(With inputs from PTI, ANI, Bar and Bench)

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