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Dhananjay Mahapatra| TNN | New Delhi | Apr 1, 2017:: After expressing its readiness to work for a ‘negotiated settlement’ of the vexed litigation over the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, the Supreme Court firmly put the six year-old appeals back in cold storage saying “we don’t have time for early hearing of this case”.
On March 21, an SC bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar had suggested a negotiated settlement to the 70-year-old dispute immediately after BJP member Subramanian Swamy mentioned the pending appeals and sought an urgent hearing.
Justice Khehar even offered to mediate between the warring sides and suggested that he could offer the services of any sitting SC judge if the parties so desired to commence negotiations. The CJI had told Swamy to mention again on March 31 after talking to parties to the dispute.
Swamy was first in the queue for mentioning on Friday before the CJI-headed bench but was in for a disappointment with the CJI saying he made the observation favouring a negotiated settlement unaware that the BJP MP was not a party to the petitions.
“My argument is that I am being deprived of worshipping at the site where Ram Lalla should be. It is a matter of faith. I am not interested in the property. I am only interested in a temple at the place where Ram Lalla should be installed,” said Swamy.
Refusing to be drawn any further into the issue even before its formal hearing by the SC, the CJI said, “You are mentioning the matter to seek a date for commencement of hearing on the pending petitions. We don’t have a time slot to be given for that purpose.”