India highest court said, if required, a principal mediator can be chosen by the court for settling the Ayodhya issue. Photograph: (Reuters)
The Supreme Court of India has asked BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy to settle the Ayodhya issue through negotiations which would be agreed upon by all petitioners and respondents.
India's apex court said if negotiations break down then it will intervene and appoint a mediator for a peaceful resolution. India's highest court added the Ayodhya dispute is a sensitive and sentimental issue and it is best
that it is settled amicably.
"These are issues of religion and sentiments. These are issues where all the parties can sit together and arrive at a consensual decision to end the dispute. All of you may sit together and hold a cordial meeting," the bench also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul said.
The Supreme Court directive comes after Subramanian Swamy sought urgent hearing of Ayodhya dispute in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court asked parties concerned to sit together to arrive at a consensus.
Supreme Court asked Swamy to consult the parties and inform it about the decision on March 31.
The Chief Justice of India Jagdish Singh Khehar has offered to mediate the Ayodhya dispute.
"You must make fresh attempts to arrive at a consensual decision. If required, you must choose a moderator to end the dispute. If the parties want me to sit with mediators chosen by both the sides for negotiations, I am ready to take up the task. Even the services of my brother judges can be availed for the purpose," the CJI said.
In his petition, Swamy had claimed that under the practices prevalent in Islamic countries, a mosque could be shifted to any other place for public purposes like constructing a road, whereas a temple once constructed cannot be touched. He had also sought directions to expedite the disposal of several petitions challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict of three-way division of the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya on September 30, 2010.
The Babri Masjid was demolished allegedly by a group of karsevaks on December 6, 1992 in India's northern city of Ayodhya in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It was allegedly demolished at the behest of top Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) leaders, several cases have been lodged since then against various people including political outfits and BJP, VHP leaders.
Its a welcome step by the Supreme Court, the matter I believe can be resolved out of court: Uma Bharti on SC Ayodhya matter pic.twitter.com/V4uJdJSLmi— ANI (@ANI_news) March 21, 2017
The Chief Justice of India has offered to act as the mediator in the Ayodhya Case. Here's more to this story (WION)
(WION with agency inputs)
India's apex court said if negotiations break down then it will intervene and appoint a mediator for a peaceful resolution