A Supreme Court bench recently suggested an ‘out of court settlement’ of the decades long Ayodhya dispute. When approached by Subramaninan Swamy to take a decision on the dispute, the SC said that because of the sensitivity of the issue (Hindu vs Muslim), the rival parties should reach a mutual agreement on the 2.77 acres land.
Subramanian Swamy, not being a party to the case in any way, was asked by the Supreme Court to negotiate and reach a legal-rational solution to the dispute. Another important thing to be noted is that the application from the BJP leader has come right after a clean sweep by the BJP in Uttar Pradesh.
Brief History of the Ayodhya Dispute.
The history of this dispute dates back to almost 1527, the time Babur, when some claim that a Hindu temple was destroyed in order to raise a mosque. However, the first communal clashes over this land have been recorded in 1853. The then British administration put a fence around the site. This is how the Babri Masjid stood there for almost a 100 years.
In 1950, Gopal Singh Visharad filed a suit with the Allahbad High Court seeking to offer puja on that site. Subsequently, multiple suits had been filed by different parties, one of which was the Nirmohi Akhada, a Hindu religionus institution which claimed to be the custodian of the disputed land. Following this, Sunni Waqf Board filed a suit for possession of this site. The Allahabad High Court began hearing the case in 2002 and was completed in 2010.
On 30th Sept. 2010, the three-member bench comprising of Justice S. U. Khan, Sudhir Agarwal and D. V. Sharma, ruled that the disputed land be split into three parts:
- One part to Ram Lalla Virajman (Lord Ram) would get the site of Ramlala idol
- Nirmohi Akhada – Sita Rasoi and Ram Chabutara
- Sunni Waqf to get the rest.
The Supreme Court later stayed the Allahabad High Court order of splitting the land into 3 parts. The stay has been in force ever since, till Subramaninan Swamy approached it once again, seeking the apex court to resolve the dispute.
Is it a good idea for court to suggest settlement?
Settlements are generally twisted in favour of the powerful. There is a power deficit in favour of one party, which makes an equitable settlement very difficult. There should be efforts to increase trust. It’s a bridge, we need to cross, in order to get a meaningful conversation.
Author: Akshay Palande
Akshay Palande is a passionate teacher helping hundreds of students in their UPSC preparation. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering and double masters in Public Administration and Economics, he has experience of teaching UPSC aspirants for 5 years. His subject of expertise are Geography, Polity, Economics and Environment and Ecology.