The Sunni Waqf Board, one of the petitioners, on the last day of hearing in the Ayodhya land dispute case have sought to withdraw from the title suit.
According to News18, the move comes amid reports of a possible rift between members of the 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.
A source familiar with the proceedings told The Wire on Wednesday morning, “Settlement has been filed. I cannot say more now.” The surprise development came on the last day of the hearings scheduled by the five judge-constitution bench of the Supreme Court. In virtually day-to-day hearings over the past few weeks, the bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, had heard arguments from the two Hindu litigants in the case – the Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas, controlled by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, a front of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, and the Nirmohi Akhara – as well as the Sunni Waqf Board.
The five-judge bench Constitution bench headed by Justice Gogoi was hearing appeals challenging the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict, which ordered equal division of the 2.77-acre of disputed land in Ayodhya among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and the Ram Lalla. The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992. The top court had recently said that it would wrap up hearing in the case on October 17, a day earlier than it was scheduled to.