The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has decided to challenge the Allahabad High Court verdict on the Ayodhya title suits. At the same time, it “is not against talks but the proposal has to be fair and in consonance with the Constitution, the Shariat and the dignity of Muslims,” said AIMPLB assistant general secretary and spokesperson Abdur Rahim Quraishi.
A unanimous resolution adopted at the working committee meeting here on Saturday said: “The committee of the Law Board considers it the right and obligation of the Indian Muslims to challenge the verdict in the apex court and remove distortions introduced by the [High Court] judgment in the basic values of the Constitution and the established norms of jurisprudence.”
According to Mr. Quraishi, the committee authorised board president Maulana Rabey Hasni Nadwi and general secretary Maulana Syed Nizamuddin to decide in what capacity the AIMPLB will move the Supreme Court — as intervener or whether it will assist the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board. The Waqf Board has already decided to move the Supreme Court.
Before announcing the decision to file an appeal, the AIMPLB meeting discussed the High Court verdict. The members felt that the judgment suffered from a number of “infirmities.”
No proposal at present
Even though the AIMPLB was not averse to talks, it wanted a level-playing field, sources on the board said. Pointing out that there was no proposal or formula at present from the board's side (for finding an amicable solution), Mr. Quraishi told journalists that if a proposal was given by the “other side,” it would be examined in the light of the Constitution, principles of the Shariat and the dignity of the Muslims.
On the possibility of a temple and a mosque co-existing at the disputed site, the AIMPLB's Babri Masjid committee convener, Syed Qasim Rasool Ilyas, said the Muslims were not opposed to the co-existence of a temple and a mosque, and several such sites could be found in the country, but a concrete proposal had to be made.
The oldest surviving litigant, Mohammed Hashim Ansari's efforts at reconciliation with the help of Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad chief Mahant Gyan Das have not escaped the AIMPLB's attention, notwithstanding his move being termed an “individual initiative.” Mr. Ilyas, who claimed to have had a telephonic conversation with the octogenarian, said Mr. Ansari had assured him that he would abide by the AIMPLB's decision.
Nirmohi Akhara stand
Meanwhile, reports from Ayodhya said the Nirmohi Akhara might also move the Supreme Court with a plea for handing over the Ram Janmabhoomi for construction of a temple. Both Mr. Ansari and Mahant Gyan Das have reportedly said reconciliation moves will not end despite the parties to the title suits moving the Supreme Court.