Never represented Sunni Waqf Board in Supreme Court: Kapil Sibal

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On Wednesday, the hearing in the disputed matter turned into a political slugfest with lawyers for Muslim appellants, including senior counsel Kapil Sibal, questioning the "hurry" to hear the matter now and demanding that it be referred to a Constitution Bench and the hearing be put off till July 2019.

"The board is of the view that hearing in the case be held and the matter be disposed of promptly".

Mr Sibal was quick to hit back, saying the Prime Minister was factually wrong in stating that he represented the Sunni Waqf Board in the court.

Sunni Waqf Board member Haji Mehboob said that Kapil Sibal argued the case in the apex court as a Congress leader and not on behalf of the board. "You want to stop the hearing of Ram temple (issue) in the name of elections", Modi told a well attended election rally here in Ahmedabad district. "I was never a Sunni Waqf Board lawyer". "We want that the case is solved at the earliest", he stressed. Regarding the entire controversy, Sibal said that, " Will discussion on my going to the court & representing someone solve serious problems in the country?

Addressing BJP workers during his Gujarat election campaign in Dahod, Modi said, "The Sunni Waqf Board must be congratulated for their courageous stand and for disassociating themselves from the statement of Kapil Sibal". "Construction of Ram Temple is part of BJP manifesto in 2014, court should not fall into the trap", Sibal had said.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), which is not a party to the case, however, favoured deferring the hearing till after the next general elections claiming that the time was not right for the same now. "We have got nothing to do with his statement", Mehboob said. Modi asked the Congress. Slamming Congress, he further said, "If a road to solution is coming let it come.All should work towards a peaceful solution. but they (Congress party) are trying to create hurdles". Modi said now he understands why the Congress kept many issues unresolved, without elaborating but implying that it was done to derive political mileage.

To a question on Sunni Waqf Board's position, Rehmani said that he has not had any talk with it in this regard.

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