The Supreme Court was hearing a petition filed by the Gujarat government challenging a 2012 High Court order. Photograph: (Others)
The Shia Waqf Board also told the top court that the Babri Masjid was its property and only it was entitled to negotiate an amicable settlement of the dispute
Offering a solution to the Babri Masjid dispute, Uttar Pradesh's Shia Central Waqf Board on Tuesday (August 8) told the Supreme Court of India that a mosque could be built in a Muslim-dominated area at a reasonable distance from the disputed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri masjid site in Ayodhya.
The Shia Board is one of the parties in the pending appeals in the apex court.
The Shia Waqf Board also told the top court that the Babri Masjid was its property and only it was entitled to negotiate an amicable settlement of the dispute.
The Waqf Board sought more time from the Supreme Court to set up a committee for exploring an amicable settlement of the dispute.
Assailing the stand of the Sunni Central Waqf Board, the affidavit said, "...Since Babri Masjid was a Shia Waqf Board property, Shia Central Waqf Board UP alone is entitled to negotiate and arrive at a peaceful settlement with other remaining stakeholders."
"Answering respondent (Shia Board) is also of the view that, to bring quietus, masjid can be located in a Muslim- dominated area at a reasonable distance from the most revered place of birth of Maryada Purshottam Sri Ram".
The top court had earlier said that if required, a principal mediator can be chosen by the court for settling the Ayodhya issue.
A three-judge bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer has been constituted by Chief Justice JS Khehar to hear a batch of petitions challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict in the Ayodhya land dispute case from August 11.
In 2010, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court had said the disputed 2.77 acres of land be partitioned equally among three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
The Shia Board's 30-page affidavit assumes significance as it has been filed within few days of the Supreme Court agreeing to fast track the hearing on a batch of appeals challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict in the case.
On July 21, a bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar had said that it would soon take a decision to list the matter for early hearing.
The court's remark had come on a plea of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy who sought urgent listing and hearing of the matter.
The BJP leader had said the main appeals against the Allahabad High Court order were pending in the top court since many years and required an urgent hearing.
He had also said that a separate petition had earlier been filed by him seeking enforcement of his right to worship without much hassle at the site.