Title holder of disputed Ayodhya land favours more time for mediation panel

Lucknow, July 18 : Iqbal Ansari, one of the main litigants in the Ayodhya dispute, feels that the mediation panel set up by the Supreme Court should be given more time so that views of all stakeholders are considered.

His comments came as the three-member committee was set to present its status report on Thursday as sought by the top court, against the backdrop of pleas for a speedy trial and settlement of the decades-old vexed issue.

"I welcomed the Supreme Court decision to form a mediation panel and a solution can be reached if the panel gets more time.

I will accept whatever decision the top court or the panel comes up with," said Ansari, the title holder of the dispute land.

A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, had on March 8 set up the panel of mediators, headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice F.M.


The top court had ordered that the mediation would start within a week at Faizabad and that the panel would submit its report within four weeks.

The panel submitted an interim report in a sealed cover on May 7 after which the Supreme Court gave it time till August 15 to work out "an amicable solution" to the issue, on the request of the committee.

On July 11, the Constitution bench asked the mediation panel to submit a status report by July 18.

Ansari said that the mediation panel should be given more time since there were too many parties involved in the case and the committee members have to listen to everyone.

He added that he will abide by the decisions of the Supreme Court.

"It is politics that has delayed the issue which should have been solved by now. My father Hashim Ansari was the original litigant and after his death, it is my duty to pursue the case and accept the court verdict," he said.

Zafaryab Jilani, convener or of the All India Babri Masjid Action Committee (AIBMC) and secretary of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), said that as representative of the Sunni Central Waqf Board, which is a party to the case, he would prefer to wait for the Supreme Court verdict.

"The court verdict will be acceptable to us. The mediators have already accepted that their efforts have not reached a logical conclusion. We want the verdict to be based on evidences and facts and not just on sentiments," he said.

"The Ayodhya dispute cannot be settled by arbitration. We will never withdraw our claim on the land in Ayodhya where once the Babri mosque stood and demolished on December 6, 1992," he added.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board had earlier voiced its reservations about the mediation process when the Supreme Court set up the panel in March.

The AIMPLB is not a party in Ayodhya dispute case pending in the Supreme Court. It, however, wields considerable power and influence in the community.

The Muslim community is represented by the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board. There are about a dozen contestants in the court case, with six each from both the communities.



Source: IANS