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Ayodhya LIVE: SC Orders Mediation to Settle Dispute by May 15; Kalifullah-Led Panel to Include Sri Sri

News18.com | March 8, 2019, 5:17 PM IST
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Ayodhya LIVE: A five-judge Constitution Bench has referred Ayodhya's Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case to mediation for amicable settlement. The bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, appointed a three-member panel to act as mediators. The panel will be headed by former Supreme Court judge FM Kalifullah with spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and mediation expert Sriram Panchu as other members.

The mediation process will be held in Faizabad district and has to be completed within eight weeks. As per the top court order, the media has been barred from reporting on the mediation process.
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Mar 8, 2019 2:20 pm (IST)

CLICK TO READ | How Does Mediation Work? As SC Appoints Panel in Ayodhya Dispute, Here's What Could Happen Next

A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court has referred the Babri dispute to mediation where a panel of three mediators, headed by Justice (Retd) FMI Kalifulla, will decide whether there can be a solution apart from a court verdict.

Mar 8, 2019 2:11 pm (IST)

Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar, who is a part of the three-member mediation committee appointed by the Supreme Court in the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute, met Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha president Swami Chakrapani today after the hearing. 

Mar 8, 2019 1:52 pm (IST)

ALSO READ | We Must All Move Together Towards Ending Long-standing Conflicts, Says Sri Sri Ravishankar

The three-member panel is headed by former apex court judge F M I Kallifulla and also includes senior advocate Sriram Panchu.

Mar 8, 2019 1:02 pm (IST)

AIMIM chief Owaisi has expressed his displeasure over the fact that Sri Sri Ravishankar is a part of the mediation committee appointed by the Supreme Court in the Ayodhya dispute, citing the anti-Muslim comments made by the spiritual leader in November. “If you look at high court rules, you’ll find  it clearly states that if a person has previously been involved in a dispute, he cannot be the mediator." On November 4 2018, Ravishankar said, "India will soon turn into Syria if no action is taken against Muslims in the Ayodhya dispute. This will lead to violence." This Owaisi says, reveals that Ravi Shankar is not a neutral party in the committee. He further clarified that he only speaks for himself and not on behalf of the Muslim Personal Law board. 

Mar 8, 2019 12:50 pm (IST)

ALSO READ | Retired SC, Mediation Expert and Spiritual Guru: The New Hope for Decades-old Ayodhya Dispute

The mediation panel headed by former apex court judge F M I Kallifull, will also include spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu, said a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

Mar 8, 2019 12:39 pm (IST)

FM I Khalifulla, who will be heading the three-member mediation panel constituted by the Supreme Court to settle the Ram Janmabhoomi- Babri Masjid title case  says that he is yet to receive a copy of the order for mediation. "I understand the SC has appointed a mediation committee headed by me. But I am yet to receive an order copy. For the present I can say that if the committee has been set up then we will make all efforts to resolve the Ayodhya dispute amicably."

Mar 8, 2019 12:24 pm (IST)

ALSO READ | Supreme Court Orders Mediation to Settle Dispute Within 8 Weeks; Kalifullah-Led Panel to Include Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

The other members of the panel will be spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu, said a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

Mar 8, 2019 11:58 am (IST)

The Supreme Court today ordered mediation to settle the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute by a three-member panel includes Sri Sri Ravishankar along wirh Justice Kalifulla and Sriram Panchu. A spiritual guru, Sri Sri had been advocating for a constructive dialogue between the opposing parties on Ram Mandir issue. Reacting to the verdict, Ravishankar says, "Respecting everyone, turning dreams to reality, ending long-standing conflicts happily and maintaining harmony in society - we must all move together towards these goals"

Mar 8, 2019 11:45 am (IST)

The top court has been in favour of mediation despite the disapproval of most of the parties concerned. The Constitution bench hearing the proceedings said the case is not about property, but "mind, heart and healing - if possible". While delivering the verdict on mediation at SC today, CJI Ranjan Gogoi said, "Mediation will take place. We don't see any legal obstruction to it, but the proceedings will remain confidential. There would be no reporting in any media," he added.

Mar 8, 2019 11:30 am (IST)

CLICK TO READ MORE | Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla, the Former Supreme Court Judge Who Will Head Ayodhya Mediation Panel

A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Friday appointed Justice (Retd) FMI Kalifulla as the head of the panel which will also include spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and mediation expert Sriram Panchu.

Mar 8, 2019 11:25 am (IST)

Another important case was elections to the Chennai City Corporation. Sitting in a division bench, he rendered a dissenting judgment, holding that the election in respect to 99 wards was liable to be set aside. The matter was referred to a third judge, who also confirmed the view of Justice Kalifulla. He retired from the Supreme Court on July 22, 2016.

Mar 8, 2019 11:25 am (IST)

After assuming office, the learned Judge had delivered several landmark verdicts. One related to introduction of Vedic astrology as a course of scientific study in Indian universities, which had the seal of approval of the Supreme Court.

Mar 8, 2019 11:17 am (IST)

Kalifulla enrolled as an advocate on 20 August 1975, after which he began practicing labour law in the law firm of T.S. Gopalan & Co. On 2 March 2000, he was appointed as a judge of the Madras High Court. In February 2011, he became a member of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and was appointed to serve as the acting Chief Justice two months later. In September 2011, he was named as the Chief Justice of High Court of Jammu and Kashmir. On 2 April 2012, he was named to the Supreme Court of India, sworn in by Chief Justice Sarosh Homi Kapadia.

Mar 8, 2019 11:16 am (IST)

In Spotlight: FM I Kaliffula | A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court has referred the Babri dispute to mediation where a panel of three mediators headed by Justice (Retd) F M I Kalifulla will decide whether there can be a solution apart from a court verdict. It was in April 2012 that Justice Kalifulla was elevated as a Supreme Court judge, but it was his tenure at the Jammu and Kashmir High Court that makes his stature distinct.

Mar 8, 2019 11:12 am (IST)

CLICK TO READ | Ayodhya Mediation: Top 5 Things You Should Know About the Supreme Court Order

The three-member mediation panel will be headed by former Supreme Court judge FM Kalifullah, with spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and, lawyer and mediation expert Sriram Panchu as other members.

Mar 8, 2019 11:10 am (IST)

Appearing for Tripathi in the Supreme Court, senior lawyer Mukul Rohatgi had argued that the dispute was an emotional issue and the court and the government should take some innovative and proactive approach to evolve a mediated settlement. Then, Sunni Waqf Board and Ram Lalla Virajman resisted all attempts to delay the judgment by the High Court while Nirmohi Akhara, even at that point in time, agreed for mediation.

Mar 8, 2019 11:09 am (IST)

The High Court had on September 17, 2010 also imposed a penalty of Rs 50,000 on Tripathi, terming his plea as a "mischievous attempt" to create obstructions in the final disposal of the matter.​ Tripathi's appeal in the Supreme Court, at first, dramatically prompted even the top court on September 23, 2010, to put brakes on the judgment by the High Court a day before it was supposed to be delivered.

Mar 8, 2019 11:07 am (IST)

Eight Years Ago, SC Had Refused to Put Ayodhya Verdict on Hold for Mediation | Eight years ago, in September 2010, various attempts were made to defer a decision by the High Court on the ground of attempting mediation, but all ended being rejected.The Supreme Court was informed then that the High Court is contemplating mediation and has given time till September 23 for the parties to arrive at a settlement. A retired bureaucrat, Ramesh Chandra Tripathi, had moved a plea seeking mediation, but his petition was rejected by a three-judge bench of the Allahabad High Court by 2:1 majority.

Mar 8, 2019 11:03 am (IST)

WATCH | Supreme Court Orders Mediation in Mandir Dispute, Panel of 3 Mediators Appointed

The Supreme Court on Friday referred Ayodhya's Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case to mediation for amicable settlement. Former apex court judge Justice (retd) F M Kallifulla will head a panel of mediators in the case.

Mar 8, 2019 11:02 am (IST)

Supreme Court says "utmost confidentiality" should be maintained to ensure success of mediation proceedings. It has directed that panel of mediators may co-opt more members and in case of any difficulty they can inform apex court registry. 

Mar 8, 2019 11:00 am (IST)

Swami Chakrapani, president of All Hindu Mahasabha, says, "We accept the Supreme Court order. We are happy with it. We are glad that Sri Sri Ravishankar is part of the mediation panel. I am sure that everything will go well."

Mar 8, 2019 10:58 am (IST)

Reacting to the Supreme Court's decision, Varun Kumar Sinha, advocate for Hindu Mahasabha, said, "Our past experience with mediation has not been good. I hope the apex court has taken this into consideration."

Mar 8, 2019 10:56 am (IST)

The mediation, if it begins on March 15, will come to an end on May 15, around the time when results of Lok Sabha elections are expected. During the last parliamentary polls, the votes were counted on May 16.

Mar 8, 2019 10:49 am (IST)

The Supreme Court on Friday referred Ayodhya's Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case to mediation for amicable settlement. Former apex court judge Justice (retd) F M Kallifulla will head a panel of mediators in the case.  A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Wednesday had reserved the order after hearing various contesting parties. Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. 

Mar 8, 2019 10:48 am (IST)

Supreme Court has restrained media from reporting proceedings of mediation in Ayodhya case. It has directed in-camera proceedings of mediation in Ayodhya case. 

Mar 8, 2019 10:44 am (IST)

The mediation will be held in Faizabad. It will be begin within a week and be completed in eight weeks. The first report is supposed to be given within four weeks on status.

Mar 8, 2019 10:41 am (IST)

The panel will be headed by former SC judge FM Kalifulla. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Shriram Panchu are other two members. The process will remain confidential.

Mar 8, 2019 10:39 am (IST)

Supreme Court has ordered mediation in Ayodhya title dispute case, paving way for time-bound procedure. A panel of mediators have been appointed and no impediment in law will start the process.

Mar 8, 2019 9:58 am (IST)

CLICK TO READ | 16 Headlines That Captured Babri Masjid Demolition

Babri Masjid demolition, the most significant social event in post-Independent India, was also the toughest assignment for media in this country. Here's a look at 16 headlines that captured Babri Masjid demolition...

Mar 8, 2019 9:29 am (IST)

It may be noted that a mediation in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title case will push back any possibility of an early beginning of the construction of the Ram temple. The speedy construction of the Ram Temple has been the top priority of right-wing groups ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Recently, there have also been calls and clamour to bypass the judicial process through an ordinance. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that no decision could be made until the judicial process is over.

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Ayodhya LIVE: SC Orders Mediation to Settle Dispute by May 15; Kalifullah-Led Panel to Include Sri Sri
Illustration by Mir Suhail/News18.com

The Constitution Bench, also comprising Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, had concluded the hearing by asking stakeholders to give the names of possible mediators on Wednesday. Hindu bodies like Nirmohi Akhara suggested the names of Justices (retd) Kurian Joseph, AK Patnaik and GS Singhvi as mediators, while the Hindu Mahasabha faction of Swami Chakrapani proposed the names of former CJIs Justices JS Khehar and Dipak Misra, and Justice (retd) AK Patnaik to the bench.

The apex court in its Wednesday hearing had observed that primarily the issue is not about 1,500 square feet land, but about religious sentiments. The bench had said it was conscious of the gravity and impact of the issue on "public sentiment" and also on "body politics of the country".

It has also said that the judges were aware of the history and was seeing that the dispute be resolved amicably as "It is not only about property. It is about mind, heart and healing, if possible."

The bench had also said it was not appropriate to pre-judge that the mediation would fail and people would not agree with the decision.

"We are conscious about the gravity of the issue and we are also conscious about its impact on body politic of the country. We understand how it goes and are looking at minds, hearts and healing if possible," the bench said.

When a lawyer contended about the injustices meted out to the Hindus by invaders in the past, the bench said, "We are not concerned what has happened in the past. Don't you think we have read the history. We are not concerned what Babar did in the past or who was the king and who invaded. We cannot undo what has happened but we can go into what exists in the present moment".

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for the legal heirs of original litigant M Siddiq, said that outlining of the dispute is not necessary and court can order mediation by an mediator, when parties are unable to settle it.

To this, the bench said that there may not be one mediator but a panel of mediators to deal with the issue.

The bench had agreed with the contention of Dhavan that confidentiality of proceedings should be maintained and said it thinks there has to be complete ban on media reporting on the developments of mediation process.

"It is not something like gag order but there should be no reporting. It is easy to attribute something to somebody when the mediation process is on," the bench had said.

During the hearing, Justice Chandrachud said that considering it is not just a property dispute between the parties but a dispute involving two communities, it would be very difficult to bind millions of people by way of mediation.

Two faction of Hindu Mahasabha took opposite stand on the issue of mediation with one body supporting it, the other opposing it.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had told the bench that the government has the right to give away land to whosoever it wants after paying compensation to the others.

"PV Narsimha Rao government had in 1994 made commitment to apex court that if ever any evidence was found that there was a temple, land will be given for temple construction," Swamy had submitted.

Senior advocate CS Vaidyanathan, appearing for Hindu deity Ram Lala Virajman had said the faith that Lord Rama was born in Ayodhaya is not negotiable but the question is of Rama Janamsthan (birth place).

"We are even willing to crowd-fund a mosque somewhere else but no negotiations can take place with respect of Lord Rama's birthplace. Mediation won't serve any purpose," he said.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, had said the court should refer the matter for mediation only when there exists an element of settlement.

He said considering the nature of the dispute it will not be prudent and advisable to take this path of mediation.

Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
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