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Ayodhya case: Mediation fails, daily hearings to begin in Supreme Court from Aug 6

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Ayodhya case: Mediation fails, daily hearings to begin in Supreme Court from Aug 6

As efforts to mediate a final settlement between rival Hindu and Muslim parties in the Ayodhya title dispute cases failed, a Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi said today (Friday, Aug 2) that the court will commence hearing the appeals from August 6 on a day to day basis.

“Mediation didn’t result in any kind of settlement,” said Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi in a six-minute hearing.

The 5-judge Constitution Bench, also comprising Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer, said the appeals of Nirmohi Akhara and deity Ram Lalla would be heard first, overruling objection of senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, for the Muslim parties, who asked why the Bench chose to hear these two parties first. He said some of the Muslim parties had filed first.

The Bench said it may consider his submission that, in that event, he be given 20 full days to argue his case and his submissions should not be curtailed.“We will see about it… Let us start hearing the appeals,” Chief Justice Gogoi replied.

On July 18, the Bench had asked the mediation committee led by former Supreme Court judge FMI Kalifulla to submit a report on the outcome of mediation proceedings held between July 31 and August 1 with Hindu and Muslim parties to amicably resolve the over 70-year-old Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title spat.

On July 9, an application was filed by Gopal Singh Visharad, an original claimant to the disputed land who filed a title suit way back in 1950, through his survivor Rajendra Singh, claiming that the Justice Kalifulla committee was making no progress. The application urged the court to stop mediation and start adjudication on the pending Ayodhya appeals.

The Bench had sent the dispute for mediation on March 8 this year, in the hope that mediation would spell a peaceful end to the volatile dispute between the members of the two religious faiths. It set up a panel comprising former Supreme Court judge FM Kalifulla, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu to explore an amicable settlement.

The Constitution bench had chosen mediation despite objections from petitioners like the Uttar Pradesh government. Barring the Sunni Waqf Board and the Nirmohi Akhara, one of the Hindu petitioners, all were against mediation. But the judges had said mediation may help in “healing relations”.

The Benchexplained that the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case “is not about the 1500 sq. ft. of disputed land, but about religious sentiments. We know its impact on public sentiment, on body politic. We are looking at minds, hearts and healing, if possible.”

During the hearing today, an application filed by M Siddiq, through his legal heirs, which pointed out several “discrepancies” in the translations done by the Uttar Pradesh government of the case records, also came up.

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The application, filed on July 15, claimed there were “glaring errors” and illustrated a few examples of them. It said verification of the translations was a Herculean task. “The testimonies alone run into 54 volumes consisting of 13,426 pages, which have been translated into English and filed by the Uttar Pradesh government. There are a total 533 exhibits translated by various parties,” it said.

“But let the hearing in appeals start…” Chief Justice Gogoi said, making it plain that the court would brook no further delay in the adjudication of the appeals pending for nearly a decade in the court.

The dispute involves the site in Ayodhya where the 16th-century Babri mosque stood before it was razed in 1992 by Hindutva activists who believe that it was built on the ruins of an ancient temple marking the birthplace of Lord Ram. In riots following the mosque demolition, 2,000 people died across the country.

Fourteen appeals have been filed in the top court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties – theSunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla (infant Ram).

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi lays foundation stone for redevelopment of 553 railway stations at a cost of Rs 19000 crore

These redevelopment projects are spread across 27 states and union territories which were inaugurated at a cost of Rs 19000 crore. The Prime Minister’s Office emphasised that these stations will serve as City Centres seamlessly integrating both sides of the cities. These train stations will have modern passenger amenities such as roof plazas, landscaping, intermodal connectivity, improved facades, kids’ play areas, kiosks and food courts.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a series of railway infrastructure projects valued at over Rs 41,000 crore on Monday under the Amrit Bharat Station Scheme. PM Modi also laid down foundation stones for redevelopment of 553 railway stations. These redevelopment projects are spread across 27 states and union territories which were inaugurated at a cost of Rs 19000 crore.

The Prime Minister’s Office emphasised that these stations will serve as City Centres seamlessly integrating both sides of the cities. These train stations will have modern passenger amenities such as roof plazas, landscaping, intermodal connectivity, improved facades, kids’ play areas, kiosks and food courts.

These city centres have been envisioned to be environment friendly and accessible to differently-abled individuals. Their design will draw inspiration from local culture, heritage and architecture, as stated in a press release. The Indian Railways is known as the world’s busiest and oldest railway systems which serves a staggering 3.52 billion passengers and transports 1512 MT of freight in 2023.

The Railway network is known as the lifeline of India and operates over 13,000 trains daily, connecting 7,325 stations across the nation. According to the Amrit Bharat scheme aims at redeveloping 1309 stations nationwide. The Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for the redevelopment of 508 railway stations on Auguast 6 last year.

The primary objective of the scheme is to enhance station facilities with  modern infrastructure, including roof plazas and city centres, fostering a more convenient and comfortable experience for passengers. With a substantial allocation of over Rs 24,470 crore by the government, the initiative underscores a commitment to bolstering India’s transportation infrastructure.

 As part of the scheme, Indian railways is crafting comprehensive Master Plans, integrating urban development around railway stations. This integrated approach signifies a holistic vision aimed at fostering overall urban development which is centred on these pivotal transport hubs.

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Maratha quota protesters set state transport bus on fire in Tirthpuri city

The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has filed a police complaint and all bus services have been suspended in Jalna. MSRTC’s Depot Manager of Ambad Taluka has also lodged a complaint at a local station demanding action against the accused who set the bus on fire.

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Maratha protesters set a state transport bus on fire at Chhatrapathi Shivaji Maharaj Chowk in Tirthpuri city, Ambad taluka while protesting against the state government over Maratha reservation row on Monday. After the incident a curfew has been imposed in the area to maintain law and order situation.

The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has filed a police complaint and all bus services have been suspended in Jalna. MSRTC’s Depot Manager of Ambad Taluka has also lodged a complaint at a local station demanding action against the accused who set the bus on fire.  Jalna collector Srikrushna Panchal said there is a possibility that quota supporters may arrive at Antarwali Sarati village in Ambad Taluka of Jalna, where the activist has been staging a hunger strike and stop him from going to Mumbai.

The curfew order said there is a possibility that traffic on Dhule – Mumbai highway and Tehsils near Ambad may get affected. The collector said government offices, schools, movement on national highways, milk distribution, media and hospitals have been exempted from the order. Maharashtra Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar appealed to Maharashtra reservation activist Manoj Jarange Patil to protest peacefully and stated that he should ensure that nobody is harmed and law and order should be maintained in the area.

He further added everybody knows who has groomed Manoj Jarange, and whose people used to visit Manoj Patil. Maharashtra government ministers used to meet the activists. He said they are reaping what they had sown in the past.

The Maharshtra Legislative assembly (lower house) unanimously passed the Maratha reservation Bill tabled in February, which intended to extend 10% reservation to Marathas above the 50% cap. Maharashtra reservation activist Manoj Jarange Patil had demanded that the NDA government should implement the ‘Sage Soyare’ ordinance notification within 2 days, failing which the majority community in Maharashtra will launch a fresh round of agitation on February 24.

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Farmers take out tractor march near Yamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Budh Nagar

The Noida police had issued an advisory for daily commuters and warned them of traffic jams at many places which also included the Delhi-Noida border. The farmers are planning to carry out the tractor march along the Yamuna Expressway, Luharli Toll Plaza and Mahamaya Flyover and traffic diversions have been imposed by the police at these places.

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Farmers took out a tractor rally near the Yamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Budh Nagar on Monday to protest against the central government for accepting their demands, which included a legal guarantee for minimum support price (MSP) for crops. Videos showed many tractors being driven on the road. The rally was stopped by the police at the Yamuna Expressway’s entry point.

They were not allowed to carry out their rally on the expressway. The development comes even as farmers have delayed their march to the national capital till February 29 after a decision is made and are staying at the Khanauri and Shambhu points on the Punjab-Haryana border.

The Noida police had issued an advisory for daily commuters and warned them of traffic jams at many places which also included the Delhi-Noida border. The farmers are planning to carry out the tractor march along the Yamuna Expressway, Luharli Toll Plaza and Mahamaya Flyover and traffic diversions have been imposed by the police at these places.

The police have barricaded the Delhi-Noida border and police will conduct checking of vehicles entering Delhi or Noida. Daily commuters have been advised not to use the Yamuna Expressway and to use alternative routes or the metro to avoid inconveniences.

Farmer leader Baldev Singh Sirsa said a farmer named Pritpal Singh was doing Langar seva at the Khannauri on the Punjab-Haryana border when he was allegedly dragged by the policemen from his tractor trolley and was badly beaten. He said Pritpal Singh was admitted to a hospital in Rohtak. But he got shifted to PGIMER at Chandigarh.

Farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher said Pritpal Singh has suffered multiple injuries and they strongly condemn the action of the police. He said the prime minister should take action against policemen who indulge in such barbaric acts. Former Punjab chief Minister and senior BJP Leader Captain Amarinder Singh condemned the barbaric act of violence against Pritpal Singh.

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