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BJP leaders contradict themselves over
Ayohdya's Babri-Janambhoomi issue in courts
By Khadijatul Kubra, Luckncow

Contrary to the stand taken by Union Human Resources Minister and veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Murli Manohar Joshi before the Justice Liberhan Commission over Ayodhya issue, party's Uttar Pradesh Government has filed an application before the Special Bench of the Allahabad High Court that the trial of the title suits should be expedited by holding day-to-day proceedings. Praying that "suitable orders may be passed for ensuring speedy trial and final decision of the suits in the interest of justice, the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh Government, through its Civil Miscellaneous Application says that "it is expedient in the interest of justice that the trial of the suits may go on from day to day so that there is no break in the recording of the evidence of witnesses as the break in between leads to more lengthy cross-examination".

The application before the Special/Full Bench, comprising Justice D K Triwedi, Justice Syed Rafat Alam and Justice Bhanwar Singh says that "the Full Bench meets for about five days in a month and sometimes in two months and the trial and the recording of the oral evidence by three Hon'ble Judges sitting together with breaks of a month or more in between is likely to take a number of years".

The Uttar Pradesh Government moved the Application on the same day when Dr Murli Manohar Joshi was in Delhi deposing before the Justice Liberhan Commission which is probing into the causes of demolition of ancient Babri Masjid. Joshi in his deposition, among other things maintained that the Ayodhya dispute was linked to the sentiments of the people and Court could not resolve the dispute.

The Rajnath Singh-led UP Government in the application says that "after a long drawn debate on various points between the parties in the aforesaid suits, the recording of original evidence in OOS No.4 of 1989 which was treated as the leading suit, commenced in July 1996 and so far only 17 of its witnesses out of list of about 100 have been examined" and the trial is likely to be further delayed on account of another change in the Full Bench due to the retirement of Mr Justice Triwedi on August 27 this year.

Presently, the Special Bench is recording the statement of eminent historian Ms. Sumera Jaiswal (Hyderabad), who is an authority on Ram says that Ram is simply a mythical personality. "In case", the State Government application says, "it is not possible for the Full Bench to sit form day to day for the trial, the recording of oral evidence can conveniently be done by one of the three Hon'ble Judges of the Full Bench who normally sits at Lucknow Bench on day to day basis or even on Commission by an Additional District Judge sitting at Faizabad as was done in the case of recording of oral evidence of Mahant Pram Hans Ram Chandra Das who was examined out of turn on behalf of plaintiff of O.S. No. 5 of 1989 which was concluded quite speedily".

The State Government's stand was in the tune of long cherished desire of the Muslim leaders who had demanded for long speedy trial of the title suits of the Ayodhya dispute. Sunni Central Board of Waqfs counsel Zafaryab Jilani says that he would have no objection in the court sitting for day to day as our cherished goal is for a "final decision" in the land dispute. Their actual stand however would be known when the Special Bench sits on April 30 to further record the evidence of Prof. Jaiswal. Earlier, Prof. Suraj Bhan, a former teacher of Kurukshetra University, Haryana deposed before the court as Sunni Central Board of Waqf witness.

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