New Delhi, March 21: The Supreme Court today asked why there cannot be an out-of-court settlement to the vexed Ayodhya Ram temple issue saying these were matters of religion and faith.
The bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar was hearing a mentioning by BJP leader Subramaniam Swamy who sought an expeditious day-to-day hearing of the appeals filed against the Allahabad High Court order and said they have been pending since nearly seven years.
ĆJI significantly also said the SC is even ready to spare a sitting judge as mediator but put a condition that first all sides including Swamy should sit together and decide if an out of court setttlement could be possible.
The appeals filed by the Sunni Waqf Board and other parties five years ago challenge the September 30, 2010 verdict of a three-judge Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court that Hindus have the right to the makeshift temple under the central dome of the Babri Masjid. The Bench had relied on Hindu faith, belief and folklore to decide.
In November, Supreme Court agreed to hear BJP’ Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy’s plea seeking to hear on Ayodhya dispute on a day-to-day basis. Swamy said that since the Ram Mandir was a part of BJP’s election manifesto, it could not be ignored. He had said that it was the party’s duty to the people to deliver on that promise.
Swamy had admitted that the matter could not be solved with force and hence had urged the Supreme Court to take action as the matter had been pending for 6 years, it should be heard on day-to-day basis.
Meanwhile Swamy had moved a fresh petition in the apex court seeking direction to allow construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya at the site where the disputed structure was demolished in 1992 and had mentioned it before a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur for urgent hearing.
In this petition he had claimed that under the practices prevalent in Islamic countries, a mosque could be shifted to any other place for public purposes like constructing road, whereas a temple once constructed cannot be touched.
Challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict of three-way division of the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya, he sought various directions to expedite the disposal of several petetions on 30 September, 2010.
Allahabad High Court in 2010 in its majority verdict allotted one-third of the disputed site in Ayodhya to Nirmohi Akahara. The other two-thirds portion has been given equally to be shared by the Waqf Board and the side representing Ram Lalla.