VHP-Muslim Personal Law Board accuse each other of impeding Ayodhya settlement

New Delhi: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has alleged that Muslim parties in the Ayodhya dispute are resorting to ‘delaying tactics’ following Supreme Courts decision to begin daily hearings in the case if mediation fails to resolve the issue.

A Constitution bench of the Supreme Court headed by its Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi directed the mediation committee, formed by it to resolve the Ayodhya title dispute, to submit its progress report by July 18.

On the other hand, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) alleged that none other than Muslim parties in the case are keen for a negotiated settlement.

“We have maintained from day one that the mediation committee effort would be a futile exercise. Muslim parties have used delaying tactics to prevent an amicable solution to the dispute. They first complained that documents pertaining to the case were in various languages and needed to be translated to English for their perusal. They had objections to the size of the Supreme Court bench as well as the constitution of its members. We are hopeful that the apex court will soon deliver its judgement through daily hearings,” VHP national spokesperson Vinod Bansal told IANS.

The three-member mediation committee, led by Justice (Retired) FMI Kalifulla, had earlier been set the deadline of August 15 to submit its report. However, on July 9 an urgent plea was made by one of the claimants to the disputed land, that mediation proceedings were not working. The plea was filed by Rajendra Singh, survivor of Gopal Singh Visharad, who had filed a title suit in the year 1950.

The AIMPLB said that the apex court decision to begin with daily hearings is perfectly in order as far as progress in dispute resolution is concerned.

“It is entirely the prerogative of the court to decide on the future course of direction in the case. We fully co-operated with the mediation panel and attended all its hearings. However, none other than Muslim parties are keen on a negotiated settlement. The court has taken a step in the right direction,” AIMPLB member Kamal Faruqui told IANS.

The mediation panel had filed an interim report on May 7. The apex court bench observed on Thursday that if Justice Kalifulla concluded on behalf of the panel that there was no reason to continue with the mediation, daily hearings could commence in the case. Apart from Kalifulla, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu are other members on the panel.