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Published On: Thu, Oct 17th, 2019

Ayodhya Plan “Win-Win” For Hindus, Muslims: Sunni Board Lawyer

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ayodhyajunction-1519182569NEW DELHI : The settlement plan suggested by the Supreme Court-appointed mediation panel in the decades-old Ayodhya temple-mosque dispute is a “win-win” for both Hindus and Muslims, the Sunni Waqf Board’s lawyer has said.
“We have given our views to the mediation panel but we can’t disclose the details of the settlement plan which has been submitted to the court. It is a positive one and everyone – Hindus and Muslims – will be happy,” Shahid Rizvi, the advocate for the Sunni Waqf Board. Asked whether both sides will be happy with the settlement, Mr Rizvi said, “It is a win-win situation for both Hindus and Muslims.”
According to sources, the Sunni Waqf Board has offered to drop its claim to the disputed temple-mosque site in Uttar Pradesh and has no objection to the land being taken over by the government for a Ram Temple, the mediation panel said in its report to the Supreme Court, NDTV reported yesterday.
Besides agreeing to give up its claim to the site of the razed Babri mosque, the Waqf Board has also asked that existing mosques in Ayodhya be renovated by the government. The Waqf board has offered to build a mosque at any other suitable place, sources have revealed on the report that could lead to a breakthrough in the 134-year-old Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute.
Details of the latest mediation effort emerged on a day the Supreme Court ended daily hearings on the dispute, saying: “Enough is enough”. Both Hindus and Muslims claim the land where the 16th century Babri mosque stood before it was brought down in December 1992 by Hindu activists who believed that it was built on the ruins of an ancient temple marking the birthplace of Lord Ram. The cataclysmic incident shook Indian politics and caused riots across the country.
The mediation panel, comprising former Supreme Court judge FM Kalifulla, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu, started consultations with various groups in March and submitted its report.
Zafaryab Jilani  thought that the hearing in the decades-old Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case is finally over, with the verdict to be delivered next month, makes him relieved and nostalgic.
With the Supreme Court conducting daily hearings in the matter since August 6, the senior advocate had mostly been in Delhi. On October 12, during the Dussehra vacations, The man who spent 45 years of his life relentlessly pursuing the case for Babri Masjid.

“The judgment at this stage of life is not just a matter of my personal satisfaction,” said Jilani, who was representing Muslim parties in the case. “I am more relieved because not many are so aware of voluminous information, legalities and minutest of details involving the case.
Barely two hundred metres from the Uttar Pradesh chief minister’s office, at the imposing Lok Bhawan building in Lucknow, is located Jilani’s legal chambers that for years has been sought after by journalists willing to understand and catch up with the developments in the legal battle of the Ayodhya title suit.

The senior advocate had been representing the Sunni Central Waqf Board and other Muslim litigants in the case. Over the years, he also emerged as eyes and ears to the case for the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB).
It was in 1983, after the Vishva Hindu Parishad carried out a Rath Yatra in favour of Ram Mandir, that some on the Muslim side started preparing to put up a challenge. “A few others and I, after being directed by the Muslim personal law board, got down to preparing notes from history books, Baburnama and other available resources,” he said.
Jilani has no regrets about having dedicated so much time to the case, which may have been rewarding in terms of name and fame, but surely came at the cost of bigger prospects of a profitable practice. So what are his plans for the future?
“Life will not be the same as before,” he admitted. “I plan to focus more on my practice. My first priority will be those cases that have been pending on my table over the past few months as the Supreme Court went into day-to-day hearing of the Ayodhya title dispute.”
Meanwhile, A Hindu party Thursday sought action from the Bar Council against senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, representing Muslim litigants in the Ayodhya case, for his “highly unethical act” of tearing the pictorial map purportedly showing the birthplace of Lord Ram during the Supreme Court hearing on Wednesday.

One of the factions of the All India Hindu Mahasabha (AIHM) wrote to the Bar Council of India condemning Dhavan’s action on the concluding day of the 40-day hearing in the Ram-Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case before a 5-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. Dhavan had created a flutter in the packed courtroom on Wednesday when he tore the pictorial map provided by senior lawyer Vikas Singh, representing AIHM.

“Rajeev Dhavan, senior advocate of the Supreme Court of India has committed highly unethical act by tearing into pieces a copy of the map submitted before the Supreme Court… This act of Dhavan scandals and brings disrepute to the Supreme Court Bar. Pramod Pandit Joshi, national spokesperson of AIHM said in a statement.

Dhavan tore the pictorial map, provided by the AIHM counsel, in the courtroom to the utter shock of the lawyers and visitors in the packed courtroom. Dhavan said he had asked and sought the permission of the bench whether those papers can be thrown and the reply from the CJI was “if it is irrelevant, you can tear it”.

“The CJI said I could shred the papers and I just followed the order. I take advice of Mr (Arvind) Datar in such matters and he told me it was a mandamus (a kind of writ or direction),” Dhavan had said. The CJI had shot back saying, “Dr Dhavan is right that the chief justice said, so he tore up. Let this clarification also be widely reported.”
(With Agency Inputs ).



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