Delhi, 18 Oct 2019: A lawyer representing one of the Muslim side litigants in the politically sensitive Ram Janmbhoomi - Babri Masjid land dispute has taken exception to reports that the Sunni Waqf Board had offered to drop its claim to the disputed site in Ayodhya.
In a detailed statement released today, Ejaz Maqbool, who represented M Siddiq in the case, said Muslim parties, with the exception of the Waqf Board, had rejected the settlement plan suggested by a Supreme Court-appointed mediation panel.
"... we must make it absolutely clear that we the appellants before Supreme Court do not accept the proposal made which has been leaked out to the Press, nor the procedure by which the mediation has taken place nor the manner in which a withdrawal of the claim has been suggested as a compromise," Mr Maqbool said in his statement.
Ejaz Maqbool, who said the Muslim litigants had been "taken aback by media reports attributed to Mr Shahid Rizvi", alleged the report had been "obviously leaked out either by the Mediation Committee or Nirvani Akhara which claim the right on the Mosque or others".
On Wednesday, sources claimed the Waqf Board, in addition to giving up its claim to the disputed site, also had no objection to a Ram Temple being built on the land. The Board had apparently also offered to build a mosque at any other suitable place.
Mr Maqbool has hit out at those claims, stating "recent attempts before Mediation Committee were not representative" and pointed out the "leaks" came on the day that the top court finished daily hearings on this politically sensitive matter.
"It is difficult to accept that any mediation could have been done under the circumstances especially when the main Hindu parties had openly stated that they were not open to any settlement and all the other Muslim Appellants made it clear, but, they would not do so," he wrote in his statement.
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. Its report was submitted to the top court on Wednesday.
The judgement in this case is expected to be delivered before Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi retires on November 17. On Sunday, the Uttar Pradesh government imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 in anticipation of the verdict.
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.