'Kapil Sibal being used to delay Ram Janmabhoomi case', says Amit Shah; Congress rejects charge

Hours after the Supreme Court deferred the hearing in  the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case to 8 February, 2018, BJP and Congress indulged in blame-game on Tuesday, with the latter accusing the former of using Kapil Sibal to delay the proceedings.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday evening, Shah demanded that the Congress make clear its stand on hearing of the case.

Shah said that while Rahul was visiting temples in the poll-bound Gujarat, "Kapil Sibal is being used to delay Ram Janmabhoomi case". He made an appeal to the Congress that it should "come clean" on whether it wants the hearing to go on or not.

The BJP president said that he wanted to appeal to Rahul to clear his stand on Ram Janmabhoomi.


Sharply criticising Shah's allegation, Congress spokesperson Randeep S Surjewala said on Tuesday that the party had always been clear that the case will be dealt by the Supreme Court.

He also took a dig at the BJP and said that it was playing the role of 'Manthara', a manipulative character in Ramayana who created conflicts among the primary characters influencing the course of the story.

Surjewala slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for raking up issues related to Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and even the Mughal era instead of those pertaining to Gujarat. He said: "The people of Gujarat want to know when will he come to 2017 and address the problems of today. When will he address the issues faced by Patidar community? When will he accept that GST has terribly affected the textile and diamond industries in Surat and Rajkot. These are important issues."

The Supreme Court adjourned the hearing on the Ayodhya case to 8 February after it began hearing the Ayodhya case on Tuesday.

Representing the Sunni Waqf Board at the hearing in the Supreme Court, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Tuesday sought delay in the hearing since he did not believe that Uttar Pradesh had filed all the relevant documents that it presented in Allahabad High Court in the apex court.

File image of BJP chief Amit Shah. PTI

File image of BJP chief Amit Shah. PTI

Despite Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, making assertions that everything was in place, Sibal questioned the possibility of the documents of over 19,000 pages being translated and filed within such a short time.

Sibal also demanded that the matter be heard by a larger bench of at least seven judges, as opposed to the three-judge bench which was hearing a batch of petitions challenging a 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict on the Ayodhya title suit. Sibal further argued that the hearing should be deferred to 15 July, 2019—which is after the Lok Sabha elections—since it was not an ordinary case and that the matter had political ramifications.

The apex court, however, rejected Sibal's plea to postpone the hearing to 2019 but agreed to set 8 February, 2018, as the next date for hearing.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Dec 05, 2017 20:25 PM

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