NEW DELHI: The 40-day-long hearing into the over 70-year-old politically sensitive Ayodhya Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute case concluded in the Supreme Court earlier this week and as India awaits the judgement in the case—which is likely to be before 17 November when Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi retires—The Sunday Guardian spoke to the two main litigants in the case.

Iqbal Ansari, son of Hashim Ansari, the main Muslim litigant in the case, said that they were ready to accept the judgement of the Supreme Court and that they are patiently waiting for it.

Ansari said, “Now that the hearing is complete and both sides have presented their arguments, it is now up to the court to decide who the land belongs to. We have presented all our arguments in court and as one of the main litigants, we will accept whatever the court decides.”

Ansari further added, “We are law-abiding citizens and believe in the Constitution of India; so let us wait and see what the Supreme Court decides in this matter.”

On the other hand, Mahant Dharamdas, the main Hindu litigant in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi case, said that they were confident that the Supreme Court would rule in favour of Lord Ram and give the right of the land to Lord Ram and all his sevaks. Dharamdas said, “We are sure that the Supreme Court is going to give a judgement in favour of Lord Ram and soon a temple will be built at the auspicious birthplace of Lord Ram. We are all sevaks of Bhagwaan and we are sure we will be able to carry out puja at the place where Ram Lalla was born.”

Asked how he was so sure that the Supreme Court was going to give its verdict in their favour, Dharamdas said, “When the papers are in our favour, we have time and again proven to the honourable Supreme Court that there was a temple where the mosque was built and that the land belongs to Bhagwaan Ramchandra—how can we say that the verdict will not be in our favour?”

There was a sudden surprise on the last day of the 40-day-long hearing in the case which was being heard by a five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court which included Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justice S.A. Bobde, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S.A. Nazeer. According to reports, the mediation panel had informed the Supreme Court that one of the main litigants—the Sunni Central Wakf Board—withdrew its claim over the 2.77 acres of the disputed land.  However, Iqbal Ansari, who is also one of the main Muslim litigants told this newspaper that there was no such move by the Sunni Central Wakf Board and that it was now up to the Supreme Court to decide who the land belonged to.  The Supreme Court Constitution Bench had started day-to-day hearings on 6 August after mediation efforts in the case failed to find any amicable solution. As many as 14 appeals had been filed against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgement which partitioned the 2.77 acres of land equally amongst the Sunni Wakf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

 

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