New Delhi: Just two days after reports emerged that the Sunni Waqf Board was ready to drop its claim to the disputed Ram temple site in Ayodhya, a group of five lawyers representing the Muslim sides, on Friday, put out a statement denying that they had agreed to any such proposal to a Supreme Court-appointed mediation panel.Also Read - Ayodhya Title Case: Supreme Court to Conduct Closed-Door Proceedings Today; Muslim Parties Ready to Drop Claim
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In the statement, the lawyers, including Ejaz Maqbool, who is the leading advocate on record for the Muslim side, said, “We must make it absolutely clear that we do not accept the proposal which has been leaked to the media, nor the process of mediation itself and nor the manner in which the withdrawal of claim has been suggested as a compromise.” Also Read - Ayodhya Hearing: When Muslim Parties' Counsel Rajeev Dhavan Tore New Evidence in Supreme Court
The lawyers also said that only the Waqf Board, among the Muslim parties, had accepted the settlement proposal made by the mediation panel and accused the panel and the Nirvani Akhara of leaking the report to the media.
The three-member panel, comprising former SC judge Justice Kalifulla, noted mediator and senior advocate Sriram Panchu and spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar, had submitted its final report to the five-judge Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday, just hours before it completed the 4oth and final day-to-day hearing in the case and reserved its verdict.
The bench, comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, his likely successor Justice SA Bobde and Justices DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, will deliver its verdict by November 17, which is the day the incumbent CJI will demit his office.
On Sunday, the Ayodhya district administration had imposed Section 144 there till December 10, to prevent any likely law and order situation in the wake of the SC judgment, whenever it is delivered.