The Supreme Court Monday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to provide security “forthwith” to the UP Sunni Central Board of Wakf Chairperson Zafar Ahmed Farooqui as he apprehended threat to his life. A 5-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi took note of the communication addressed to it by a member of the mediation committee that Farooqui has informed him about the threat to his life.
“We direct the Uttar Pradesh government to provide security forthwith to the chairperson of the Sunni Wakf Board,” said the bench, which also comprised Justices S A Bobde, D Y CHandrachud, Ashojk Bhushan and S A Nazeer. The court order came at the end of the hearing on 38th day in the Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri masjid land dispute case.
When the bench was about to conclude the day’s hearing, the CJI said he has received a communication from senior advocate Sriram Panchu, one of the mediators in the Ayodhya case, that Farooqui was facing threat. Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for Muslim parties, said the person concerned might be facing threat from the state government itself.
The bench did not heed to Dhavan’s submission and went ahead and directed the state government, represented by senior lawyer Aishwarya Bhati, to provide security to Farooqui.
Farooqui had reportedly created a flutter recently by seeking resumption of the mediation to amicably resolve the Ayodhya land dispute.
The apex court on August 6 had started day-to-day proceedings in the case after the earlier mediation process to resolve the dispute had failed.
Besides Panchu, spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was also in the mediation panel, headed by former apex court judge F M I Kalifulla.