Congress leader and former union minister Kapil Sibal has given his reaction to Republic TV on Monday's massive development in the Supreme Court which has delayed hearings in the Ayodhya dispute case till January 2019.
Republic TV caught up with Sibal, who in December 2017 while representing the Sunni Waqf Board sought that the Supreme Court postpone its hearings in the matter till July 2019, i.e. after the upcoming general elections.
On Monday, when asked, "It's been deferred. It's something you had asked for", Sibal replied:
"I'm not in the matter. It's for the court to decide when to hear and when not to hear. Who am I?"
He was then asked: "Do you think this will have political ramifications?".
To this, Sibal said, "I have no idea. You know much better. You journalists know much better than us"
In December 2017, Sibal had emphasised the importance of the case and said to the apex court that it should convene a 5 or 7-judge bench to hear the matter starting July 15, 2019. By this time, Sibal put forth, the general elections would have decided the fate of the Narendra Modi-led BJP government, which he said had promised a Ram Mandir in its 2014 election manifesto.
Following Sibal's demand being turned down by the then CJI Dipak Misra-led bench, the Sunni Waqf Board openly spoke against Sibal's post-election hearing demand, saying that they wanted the matter to be resolved as soon as possible.
At that time, speaking to Republic TV, Union Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, when asked about the conflict of interest between Kapil Sibal the lawyer and Kapil Sibal the politician, had said:
"As a lawyer Kapil Sibal can argue anything, but if he brings his political judgment and opinion in a court proceeding designed to dissuade the court from hearing the matter, it's very regrettable."
Sibal's demand had also been raised in the context of the Supreme Court's order on Monday, by Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas leader Ram Vilas Vedanti. A raging debate has broken out as a result of the delay with one side beseeching the government to bring an ordinance to build the Ram Mandir and the other side asking for the Supreme Court's say in the matter to be accepted, whenever and whatever that may be.