NEW DELHI: The Sunni Waqf Board on Wednesday disapproved of its counsel Kapil Sibal's statement in Supreme Court that the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case should be heard after 2019 General Elections.
While rejecting Sibal's stand, Sunni Waqf Board member Haji Mehboob said the board was for a solution to the Ayodhya dispute at the earliest.
“Yes Kapil Sibal is our lawyer but he is also related to a political party, his statement in SC yesterday was wrong, we want a solution to the issue at the earliest,” Mehboob was quoted by ANI.
Later in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed Sunni Waqf Board for disassociating themselves from the statement of Kapil Sibal on Ram Mandir issue.
A high voltage drama marked Tuesday's hearing in the Supreme Court with lawyers representing the Sunni Waqf Board and the Babri Masjid Action Committee, virtually threatening to walk out of the proceedings as the bench asked senior advocate CS Vaidyanathan, representing the deity Ram Lalla Virajman, to commence his submissions in the case.
When the bench headed by the CJI rejected their contention that the matter be sent to a larger bench saying "no, no...", Sibal, appearing for Sunni Wakf Board, said, "I do believe that any decision in this case will have very serious ramifications and the appeals should be referred to a five or seven judge constitution bench. Do not say 'no, no, no'. Please hear the matter keeping in mind the ramifications..."
He further said, "please fix the matter in July 2019 and we assure that we will not seek any adjournments... Justice should not only be done, it should seem to be done."
The bench countered expressing shock and surprise and asked, "What kind of submission is this? You are saying July 2019. Should it not be heard before that?"
The apex court on Tuesday ruled that the hearing will commence on February 8, 2018 on a batch of petitions challenging a 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict on the Ayodhya title suit that had divided the disputed Babri Masjid site between the Nirmohi Akhara, Lord Ram deity and the Sunni Waqf board.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S Abdul Nazeer directed that all the advocates on record will work in harmony and ensure that all documents are filed, if not already filed.
The mosque originally dates back to 1528. It was built in Ayodhya by Mir Baqi – a commander of Mughal emperor Babur – from where it gets the name Babri Masjid. However, a report by the Archaeological Survey of India suggested the existence of a 10th-century temple at the site.
The Allahabad High Court had in 2010 ordered a three-way division of the disputed land which has been challenged in the Supreme Court.