Lucknow: Major Muslim bodies on Wednesday spoke in conflicting voices on the Ayodhya title suit with the UP Sunni Waqf Board against deferment of the hearing in the apex court till after the 2019 general elections and the AIMPLB saying the time was not right for the arguments to take place.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Sunni Waqf Board, had said in the Supreme Court on Wednesday that the appeals in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case be heard in July 2019 after the completion of the next Lok Sabha polls as the atmosphere at present was not conducive for the proceedings.
"The board is of the view that hearing in the case be held and the matter be disposed of promptly... I do not know on whose behalf the counsel for the Muslims appearing in the apex court, Kapil Sibal had stated this... No such directive had been given by the board," chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board Zafar Farooqui said.
"Apparently, Sibal had appeared on behalf of one of the appellants in the Ayodhya case Hasim Ansari's son Iqbal Ansari... There was no directive from the board. We want that the case is solved at the earliest," he stressed.
Another party to the case, Haji Mehboob said he also wanted early disposal of the matter and did not approve of Sibal's stand.
"Everyone is involved in politics, be it the Congress or the BJP. I do not want to get involved in their politics. I just want the issue to be resolved soon," Mehboob said.
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), which is not a party to the case, however, favored deferring the hearing till after the next general elections claiming that the time was not right for the same now.
"This is not the right time for holding the hearing in the case. If the next hearing is taken up it will provide an opportunity to some people to take political mileage," AIMPLB general secretary Maulana Wali Rehmani said.
"The hearing was taken up for the first time yesterday and BJP president Amit Shah gave reaction on Sibal's statement," he said, adding that this in itself was indicative of what will happen if the hearing was taken up on a daily basis.
Rehmani also said that Sibal had talked about shifting of the hearing on the advice of the AIMPLB and other Muslim parties.
To a question on Sunni Waqf Board's position, Rehmani said that he has not had any talk with it in this regard.
Reacting to Sibal's contention, Amit Shah has asked the Congress and Rahul Gandhi to clarify their stand on this count. The Congress has retorted by saying that Shah's statement was aimed at diverting attention from real issues in the Gujarat polls.