Supreme Court Likely to Hear Ayodhya Land Dispute Case Today after Mediation Panel Submits Report
The panel, which was allowed time till July 31 to continue talks to develop consensus between Hindu and Muslim parties on the temple dispute, has submitted its report in a sealed cover.
File photo of the Supreme Court of India.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court is likely to consider on Friday the "outcome" of mediation proceedings conducted by a panel set up to amicably resolve the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya and may decide whether to hear the matter or continue with the mediation.
On July 18, a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had asked the three-member mediation panel, headed by former apex court judge FMI Kalifulla, to inform the court about the outcome of the mediation proceedings as on July 31 to enable it to proceed further in the matter. The panel on Thursday submitted its report in a sealed cover about the progress made in the in-camera mediation proceedings.
"We request the mediation panel to inform the court about the outcome of the mediation proceedings as on July 31," said the bench, also comprising Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer.
The bench, which had perused a report about the progress of the mediation process till July 18, had said its contents will remain confidential according to an earlier order.
The Supreme Court on July 11 had sought a report on the mediation process and said that a day-to-day hearing might commence from July 25 if the court decides to conclude the mediation proceedings. It had requested Justice Kalifulla to inform it by July 18 about the progress made thus far.
It had passed the order while hearing an application filed by a legal heir of one of the original litigants, Gopal Singh Visharad, seeking a judicial decision on the dispute and conclusion of the mediation process, alleging that not much was happening there.
The panel, also comprising spiritual guru and founder of the Art of Living foundation Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate and renowned mediator Sriram Panchu, was earlier granted time till August 15 by the apex court for completion of mediation after its earlier report had said that the mediators were "optimistic" about an amicable solution.
The court had fixed the seat for the mediation process in Uttar Pradesh's Faizabad, around 7 km from Ayodhya, and said that adequate arrangements, including those related to the venue of the mediation, place of stay of the mediators, their security and travel, should be arranged by the state government for the proceedings to start immediately.
The bench was earlier told by a number of Hindu bodies, except the Nirmohi Akhara, and the Uttar Pradesh government that they were not in favour of the court's suggestion for mediation. The Muslim bodies had supported the proposal.
Fourteen appeals have been filed in the Supreme Court so far against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be equally divided among the three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
(With inputs from PTI)
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