In a big development which could have massive ramifications on the Ram Janmabhoomi case, the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board has decided to withdraw its petition on the last day of hearing. The Sunni Waqf Board has informed the Supreme Court through the mediation panel. However, this decision comes with conditions.
The Sunni Waqf Board has said that it will give up the claim and asked to make Place of Religious Worship Act 1991 watertight, government should take over maintenance of around 22 mosques in Ayodhya and Supreme Court should form a committee to check into status of other religious places under ASI’s control. Meanwhile, Sunni Waqf Board lawyer has said that he is unaware of any such statement. Zafaryab Jilani, the board’s lawyer, has denied having any such knowledge.
According to the reports, the decision to withdraw the petition comes amidst that a possible rift has broken out between members of the Sunni Waqf Board following FIRs against its chairman ZA Faruqui. The Uttar Pradesh government has recommended an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Faruqui into alleged illegal sale and purchase of land for the board.
Faruqui had reportedly attempted to change his Advocate-on-Record in the Ayodhya case. He allegedly also wrote to the mediation panel, asking for a fresh round of talks, without the knowledge of his legal team. As per sources, the mediators will submit a report before the top court intimating an “agreement” reached between a few parties to the Ayodhya dispute during the mediation.
The Sunni Waqf Board has vehemently opposed the Hindu parties’ counsel from introducing fresh evidence. The Muslim parties have been contesting that the ASI report, that had confirmed the presence of a large structure at the Ram Janambhoomi site. However, they had to apologise to the Supreme Court after one of the counsels representing them had questioned the credibility of ASI reports.
The Muslim side represented by Sunni Waqf Board had also strongly contested Hindus’ side arguments terming the birthplace of Lord Ram under the central dome as a legal entity. Muslim parties have argued that and is not Swayambhu, self-existing, whereas Kailash Mansarovar is an accurate example of manifestation.
CJI Ranjan Gogoi has said that today by 5 PM the hearing of the case would have to be concluded.