Lucknow, Feb 13 (IANS) Hashim Ansari, the oldest litigant in the Ayodhya land dispute, has finally given up hope for an out-of-court settlement on the issue, saying he will file a special leave petition in the Supreme Court Monday against the verdict of the Allahabad High Court.
Ninety-year old Ansari, who had initiated moves for a final settlement on the vexed issue through negotiations, said Sunday he was compelled to take the decision following much opposition from various parties.
After 21-years of hearing, Allahabad High Court passed the verdict Sep 30 by its special bench comprising Justices S.U. Khan, Sudhir Agrawal and Dharam Veer Sharma, dividing the land where the Babri mosque once stood into three parts – one each for Ram Lalla and a Ram temple and one for the mosque. It also suggested re-adjustment of land to the parties out of the surplus 67 acres of adjoining land acquired by the union government.
However, far from being pacified, the contestants – the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla – moved the Supreme Court against the verdict.
Ansari was only one to refrain so far from filing an appeal because he believed that his efforts towards an out-of-court settlement would bear fruit.
“I tried everything to bring an end to the court battle. I hoped and prayed that the other parties would agree with me. I hoped the issue would end in my lifetime. But sadly that does not seem to be so. Therefore I have signed the documents for filing the appeal”, Ansari told IANS over the telephone from Ayodhya.
His lawyer Zafaryab Jilani, who was the first to move the apex court on behalf of the Sunni Central Waqf Board that was also represented by him, said: “Hashim Ansari has at long last sworn an affidavit to appeal against the high court verdict.”
According to Jilani, the affidavit is “more or less on the same lines as the one filed by on behalf of the Sunni Central Waqf Board, which challenged the high court order that tends to overstep its jurisdiction beyond legal limits.”
“Far from answering the vital question of the title over the disputed land, the high court chose to turn into a self-appointed arbitrator,” Jilani said.