‘We don’t accept’: Muslim parties deny Ayodhya case settlement report

The Ayodhya mediation panel had submitted its final report to the five-judge bench of the Supreme Court outlining what had been described as a settlement agreement on Wednesday, hours before the top court concluded the 40-day hearing on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit.

A lawyer for the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind and other Muslim parties on Friday denied reports that they have proposed a settlement to surrender its claim over the disputed site of the Ramjanmabhumi-Babri Masjid in Ayodhya before the mediation panel.

The Ayodhya mediation panel had submitted its final report to the five-judge bench of the Supreme Court outlining what had been described as a settlement agreement on Wednesday, hours before the top court concluded the 40-day hearing on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit.

The five-judge bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had on Wednesday ended the marathon hearing in the decades-old Ramjanmabhumi-Babri Masjid title dispute case.

The bench had given the contesting parties three days to file written notes on ‘moulding of relief’ or narrowing down the issues on which the court is required to adjudicate in this case.

According to people familiar with the development, the key element of this proposed settlement was an offer by the Waqf Board to surrender its claim on the disputed site.

The offer was conditional on the government accepting four conditions to protect the interests of Muslims in other parts of the country including Ayodhya.

On Friday, lawyer Ejaz Maqbool issued a statement saying, they were “taken aback by the media reports attributed by Mr Shahid Rizvi”.

“Accordingly, we must make it absolutely clear that we the appellants before Supreme Court do not accept the proposal made which has been leaked out to the Press, nor the procedure by which the mediation has taken place nor the manner in which a withdrawal of the claim has been suggested as a compromise,” Maqbool said in the statement on behalf of the Muslim parties.

Maqbool said in the statement that the “news was obviously leaked out either by the Mediation Committee or Nirvani Akhara which claim the right on the Mosque or others”.

“The recent attempts before Mediation Committee were not representative…. It needs emphasis that such a leak was in total violation of the orders of the Supreme court that had directed that such proceedings should remain confidential,” he said in the statement.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court had explored the possibility of mediation for an amicable settlement to the decades-old dispute.

A three-member mediation panel led by retired judge justice FM Ibrahim Kalifulla and comprising Art of Living founder Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu tried to work for a resolution but failed to make little headway.

Last month, the top court, at the request of the mediation panel, allowed them to simultaneously talk to the parties concerned but many parties, particularly those known to have adopted a hard line, stayed away from the final round of negotiations.

Source: Hindustan Times

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