Long cherished hopes of judicial settlement of the decades-old vexed Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute now appears in sight, as the Supreme Court has fixed October 18 deadline for both parties to conclude the arguments. The apex court bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, has thus planned to pronounce the verdict by middle on November before Justice Gogoi retires. Significantly the court without hampering the day-to-day hearing process has also allowed mediation process, if possible, to arrive at an amicable solution. Given long drawn tussle over the title suit leading to unfortunate politicisation and unprecedented country-wide violence over the years, the ongoing apex court hearings has provided the best opportunity to settle the dispute for all time. The apex court is ideally placed to ensure everyone abides by its forthcoming verdict. The Muslim litigants have already announced that they would comply with the judgement.
A piquant situation had arisen following Allahabad High Court Verdict on September 30,2010 trifurcating 2.77 acre land between three claimants, which instead of solving the issue had further complicated the matter, unacceptable to all the parties. The apex court, while staying HC verdict in 2011, had criticised the 2-1 majority HC judgement’s overt reliance on mythology as a “leap of faith”. It is unfortunate that a local land dispute took a national catastrophic turn and caused massive dent to country’s age-old integration. There is no doubt that peace-loving people are wary and weary over the continuation of dispute and are yearning for early settlement. It was however unfortunate that court-sponsored mediation process failed to find an acceptable ground between the litigants. Now with the court set to deliver final verdict in next two months, it is equally important that a political consensus is evolved to implement the verdict, leaving the past acrimony behind to move ahead amicably on the path of national prosperity and social harmony.