At the most can decide on compensation to parties and Government can allot land for Mandir construction: Subramanian Swamy
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday said that the demand for mediation in the Ayodhya case is just a sterile exercise and at the most is only limited to the compensation to the parties in the decades-long pending title case and it is up to the Government, who took over the entire land to decide whom to give the land for construction of Ram Mandir. He was talking to media, reiterating his arguments presented before the apex court.
Subramanian Swamy’s detailed written submission to the apex court is published below this report
While submitting his detailed written submission, Subramanian Swamy told the Bench that the Central Government has the right to give away land to whosoever it wants after paying compensation to the others. He said the mediation process can’t solve the focal issue and it can only help in deciding compensation packages to the parties in the ongoing title case. “P V Narasimha Rao Government had in 1994 made a commitment to the apex court that if ever any evidence was found that there was a temple, the land will be given for temple construction,” said Swamy.
Subramanian Swamy’s detailed written submission to the apex court is published below this report. After hearing all parties, Supreme Court said it will pass orders on whether to refer the Ayodhya land dispute case for mediation, underlining that it has no control over what Mughal ruler Babar did and is only concerned with resolving the present situation. The top court said it thinks that primarily the issue is not about 1,500 square feet land, but about religious sentiments. The Court order also said that they will also pass an order whether Subramanian Swamy’s Writ Petition demanding the fundamental right to pray at Ayodhya’s Ram Mandir will be heard by this Bench or other smaller Bench. Meanwhile, the apex court had already allotted eight weeks to settle the translation of documents in the main title challenging case.
The five-Judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, which reserved verdict on referring the matter for mediation, said that it is conscious of the impact of the issue on “public sentiment” and on “body politic”. “Arguments on the issue of reference to mediation are closed. Arguments concluded. Orders reserved,” said the bench, also comprising Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer.
Hindu bodies like Nirmohi Akhara suggested the names of Justices (retd) Kurian Joseph, A K Patnaik and G S Singhvi as mediators, while the Hindu Mahasabha faction of Swami Chakrapani proposed the names of former CJIs Justices J S Khehar, Dipak Misra and Justice (retd) A K Patnaik to the bench.
During the hearing, all Hindu bodies except Nirmohi Akhara opposed the suggestion of the court to refer the issue for mediation, while Muslim bodies supported it.
“You are saying it will be a failure. We are not assuming that somebody will give it up. Primarily, we think this issue is not a property dispute. It is not about the 1500 sq ft but it is about the religious sentiments and faith.
“We are conscious about the gravity of the issue and we are also conscious about its impact on the body politic of the country. We understand how it goes and is looking at minds, hearts, and healing if possible,” the bench said.
Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for the legal heirs of original litigant M Siddiq, said that outlining of the dispute is not necessary and the court can order mediation by a mediator when parties are unable to settle it. To this, the bench said that there may not be one mediator but a panel of mediators to deal with the issue.
Dhavan said that mediation in the peculiar facts of the case can be ordered in-camera and no parties should be allowed to disclose the proceedings till the final report is filed. The bench agreed with the contention of Dhavan that confidentiality of proceedings should be maintained and said it thinks there has to be a complete ban on media reporting on the developments of the mediation process.
“It is not something like gag order but there should be no reporting. It is easy to attribute something to somebody when the mediation process is on,” the bench said. Two factions of Hindu Mahasabha took opposite stand on the issue of mediation with one body supporting it, and the other opposing it.
Senior advocate C S Vaidyanathan, appearing for Hindu deity Ram Lala Virajman said the faith that Lord Rama was born in Ayodhya is not negotiable but the question is of Rama Janamsthan (birthplace). “We are even willing to crowd-fund a mosque somewhere else but no negotiations can take place with respect of Lord Rama’s birthplace. Mediation won’t serve any purpose,” he said.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, said the court should refer the matter for mediation only when there exists an element of settlement. He said considering the nature of the dispute it will not be prudent and advisable to take this path of mediation.
Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya is partitioned equally among the three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. The case got momentum after, in mid-2015, Subramanian Swamy entered the case with a petition for seeking basic facilities to the devotees who came to pray at the temporary structure in Ayodhya. Congress lawyers and Muslim parties’ lawyers were trying to delay the beginning of hearing of the case at each stage.
The Supreme Court is expected to pass an order on mediation if any needed soon and continuation with the same Bench or other Bench on Subramanian Swamy’s petition for fundamental right to pray.
The detailed seven-page written Submission to Supreme Court by Subramanian Swamy on March 6, 2019, is published below: