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Supreme Court verdict tomorrow on whether to refer Ayodhya dispute for mediation

In its last hearing on Wednesday, a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer, had reserved its order.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: March 7, 2019 6:21:44 pm
The verdict will be delivered at 10.30 am in the court of the Chief Justice of India, the Supreme Court notification said. (File)

The Supreme Court will pronounce its order on Friday on whether to send the Ayodhya title dispute for mediation. The verdict will be delivered at 10.30 am in the court of the Chief Justice of India, the Supreme Court notification said.

In its last hearing on Wednesday, a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer, had reserved its order. The bench had said that it was in favour of giving “healing” a chance and asked the parties involved to suggest names of possible mediators.

The ‘Muslim’ parties have told the Bench they were willing to participate in the process of mediation. But counsel for Ramlalla Virajman and Mahant Suresh Das have opposed the proposal, saying mediation had been attempted in the past and had not succeeded.

[ie_backquote quote=”You are assuming that there can only be one outcome. Are you not saying it’s going to be a failure even before we have ordered it. That is not fair” cite=”Supreme Court”]

The bench is hearing appeals against the September 30, 2010 order of the Allahabad High Court which ordered a three-way division of the disputed 2.77 acres of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site, giving a third each to the Nirmohi Akhara sect, the Sunni Central Wakf Board, UP, and Ramlalla Virajman.

How the Ayodhya hearing progressed

During the course of the hearing, the court stated that it did not have control over the past and can only try to undo the present dispute.

“Don’t tell us history. We have also read history. Don’t tell us what we already know. We have no control over what happened in the past…of Babar…and so we cannot undo that. We can only undo what exists in the present moment and that’s the dispute,” Justice S A Bobde observed.

Advocate Hari Shankar Jain, representing a faction of the Hindu Mahasabha, said the mediation process was bound to fail as there could be no compromise on the place of the birth of Lord Ram. “It’s a question of our faith and sentiments. It’s Ramjanmabhoomi. There is no question of compromise,” he said.

To this Justice Bobde said it was tantamount to “prejudging the outcome”. “You are assuming that there can only be one outcome… Are you not saying it’s going to be a failure even before we have ordered it… That is not fair. That is prejudging the outcome,” he said, adding “we are of the view that this is not just a dispute about the land. It’s one about sentiments.”

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