A three judge bench of the Supreme Court suggested that an out of court settlement was the best recourse to the Ayodhya dispute. Offering to act as mediator, the CJI also suggested that the parties choose mediators on their own.
Out of Court settlement in the dispute has previously been unsuccessfully attempted nine times.
Let us examine the feasibility of the same!
Could Ayodhya dispute be resolved out of Court?
The Babri Masjid through Indian Politics
The Babri Masjid/Ayodhya dispute has been a decisive factor driving Hindu-Muslim communal relations in India. 1992 demolition and ensuing riots considerably soured inter-community relations.
Ruling on the matter, the Allahabad HC in 2010 suggested a three way division of the disputed area, rendered unacceptable by all the parties.
Supreme Court's current suggestion comes about in the background of BJP's ascension to power in UP.
What is Out of Court settlement?
Arbitration, mediation and conciliation are means of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). These may be employed to avoid the time and costs involved in litigation otherwise. Out of the three, mediation is considered more flexible with respect to procedure, evidence and formality.
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Ayodhya Dispute: Past attempts at Out of Court Resolution
Out of Court settlement in the dispute, attempted 5 times under PMs Rajiv Gandhi in 1986, Chandrashekhar in 1990, Narasimha Rao and in 2002 and 2003 under NDA rule have been unsuccessful.
Hashim Ansari, oldest litigant representing the Sunni Waqf Board approached the head of the All India Akhara Parishad for out of court settlement in 2015, but was unsuccessful.
How could this pan out?
Retired HC Judge Palok Basu proposed that the mosque be constructed 500 m away from the disputed site.
In 2015, Hashim Ansari and Mahant Gyan Das (Akhara Parishad) proposed that the mosque and temple be built simultaneously at disputed site, with a 100 foot wall separating them.
Nimrohi Akhara recommends the construction at Mir Baqi's tomb located 5 km away from the disputed site.
06 Apr 2017
CBI: Advani, others BJP leaders part of Babri Masjid conspiracy
The CBI argued in the Supreme Court that senior BJP leader LK Advani and 12 others should be charged with conspiracy over the Babri Masjid's demolition.
It said the leaders previously escaped facing conspiracy charges on technical reasons but it now wants them tried in a Lucknow court.
Besides Advani, other accused include BJP leaders Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh.
19 Apr 2017
Babri Masjid: SC reinstates conspiracy charges against Advani, others
The Supreme Court has re-imposed charges of conspiracy against LK Advani, MM Joshi and other senior BJP leaders over the Babri Masjid demolition case.
The SC bench stated that trials in the case which are ongoing in Lucknow and Rae Bareli would have to be completed in 2 years.
The court clarified that there would be no fresh trial in the case.
30 May 2017
Babri Masjid- Conspiracy charges against Advani, Joshi and others
A special CBI court framed conspiracy charges against BJP leader LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and others under section 120(b) of the IPC in the Babri Masjid demolition case; all have been granted bail.
Earlier, the leaders had failed to appear in front of the court despite summons.
The Supreme Court had ordered prosecution in April.
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