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Published On: Fri, Apr 23rd, 2021

Justice Bobde wanted SRK part of Ayodhya dispute mediation

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CJI-Bobde-Asked-Shah-Rukh-Khan-To-Be-Part-of-990x557NEW DELHI : Outgoing Chief Justice SA Bobde wanted Shah Rukh Khan to mediate the Ayodhya temple-mosque dispute and the actor had even agreed, but it did not work out. The anecdote came up during a virtual farewell for Justice Bobde today. Vikas Singh, the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, dropped the nugget during his tribute to Justice Bobde.
Speaking at the virtual farewell function of Justice Bobde, who retired on Friday as CJI, Singh, in his capacity as president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, revealed that Bobde had been keen on involving the actor in the court-mandated mediation process. “Justice Bobde knew that I was well-acquainted with the family of Shah Rukh Khan. He asked me whether Shah Rukh Khan would be interested in participating in the mediation plan,” Singh said.
“Shah Rukh Khan was more than willing to take part in the mediation. He even suggested that the foundation stone of the temple be laid by representatives of the Muslim community, and vice versa for the mosque. Unfortunately, the mediation process did not move forward,” the SCBA president said. He also recalled that Bobde had expressed his keenness in the open court when the Ayodhya matter was being heard for the issue to be resolved through mediation. Later, the court had set up a mechanism involving eminent religious leaders and citizens to try and work out a mediated resolution, but the attempt had failed.
“Justice Bobde asked me whether Shah Rukh Khan was willing to mediate in the Ayodhya dispute. I spoke with SRK and he was happy to be in the mediation but unfortunately, mediation did not work,” Vikas Singh said, as Justice Bobde listened. The three members on the Supreme Court-appointed mediation panel were former top court judge FMI Kalifulla, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior lawyer Sriram Panchu.

The mediation panel, tasked with “healing hearts and minds”, held several rounds of talks but failed to come up with a solution. Then Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi then decided that the case would be heard by the Supreme Court. In 2019, the Supreme Court handed over the site in Ayodhya, claimed by both Hindus and Muslims for decades, for the building of a Ram temple and ordered that Muslims be given alternative land for a mosque. In his tribute, Vikas Singh also referred to Chief Justice Bobde’s passion for bikes, particularly a Harley Davidson he owned.
“I wanted to sell my Harley Davidson bike. The CJI said why are you selling it? Send it to me. I told him it is heavy but CJI replied he has been riding bikes since his childhood. Because of the bike the Chief Justice got himself fractured,” Mr Singh shared.
(With Agency Inputs).

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