ayodhya Ram Temple SC

Ayodhya Verdict – Another Tactic to Delay the Inevitable?

English

That the Supreme Court on Friday referred Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case pertaining to Ayodhya to mediation for amicable settlement reeks of another attempt to delay the inevitable. The court has to give one or another verdict howsoever it may try to evade from its responsibility.

Former apex court judge Justice (retd) F. M. Kallifulla will head a panel of mediators in the case. Other members of the panel of mediators include spiritual guru Shri Shri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu. Fortunately enough, the apex court has accepted that the case was not just about property but, also about sentiment and faith.

The SC has said that proceedings in the case will be held in Faizabad and process to start within a week. The SC has asked the panel of mediators to complete its mediation process within eight weeks and file a progress report of the mediation proceedings within four weeks.

Court also said that panel of mediators may co-opt more members and in case of any difficulty, they can inform the SC registry. The court directed in camera proceedings of mediation in Ayodhya case and restrained media – both print and electronic – from reporting the proceedings of mediation case.

A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Wednesday had reserved the order after hearing various contesting parties. 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 Lala.

The constant postponing of the matter, sometimes even refusal by the SC to hear any plea, has created a sort of discontent among the Hindus. It seems that the SC simply does not want the case to reach to its logical conclusion lest any political party gets mileage from it. It is pertinent here to remember Congress leader Kapil Sibal’s famous statement where he requested the SC to postpone the hearing of the case till Lok Sabha elections this year are over.

It has been a long wait for Hindus in India to get to see a grand temple to their beloved deity being built on the same site where Shri Rama was born. It is also worth mentioning here that in an interview to a news agency, Modi had said in January this year that a decision on bringing an ordinance on Ram Temple can be taken after the judicial process is complete. The BJP had passed a resolution for the construction of a grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya at Palampur in 1989. The party is pursuing the issue ever since and there is tremendous pressure from Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to get the issue resolved as early as possible. RSS expects Modi government to fulfil its promise of building the Ram temple within this tenure as the BJP was elected to power in 2014 after committing itself to do so.

In this scenario, even though this has raised the hope for a decision on the long pending case in a stipulated time frame, that possibility still remains a pipe dream because no result from this mediation exercise is guaranteed. So as of now, it seems that all this mediation thing is just a ploy for buying some time till elections are announced. Once the announcement of poll schedule takes place, the government’s hands will be tied and one may expect any further development only thereafter. That is quite a smart move!

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