The Top Court on Thursday directed the Ayodhya Mediation Panel to submit a detailed report in the Court by July 18. The Top Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, while hearing a plea seeking the early hearing, said that it will wait for a detailed report of the mediation panel.
The Bench said, ‘The mediation panel has been appointed, let wait for a detailed report’.
A plea for early hearing in the case was filed by Rajendra Singh stating that no progress has been made in the mediation panel appointed by the Top Court. During the hearing, Advocate K Parasaran appearing for Singh submitted before the court that mediation panel is unlikely to bring any positive news.
However, this was opposed by the counsel appearing for the Muslim parties. Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhawan stated that this is not the time to criticize the mediation panel.
The Top Court said it will decide whether to conclude the mediation process or not depending on the report submitted by Justice Kalifulla on July 18. The case will be next heard on July 25.
Earlier the Supreme Court on May 10 extended the mediation committee on Ayodhya till August 15. The court observed that the Chairman of the committee, Justice F.M.I. Kalifulla, had indicated progress in mediation so far and sought an extension of time to complete the task.
The Apex Court 5 Judge Constitutional Bench on March 8 referred the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid Title Dispute Case for court-appointed and monitored mediation for a “permanent solution”. The Top Court Bench appointed three mediators that include – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Senior Advocate Sriram Panchu – a trained mediator. The Panel will be headed by Justice (r) Khalifulah.
Major Highlights of the Case
- The Top Court Five-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on March 6 said Parties to suggest a name for mediator or panel for mediators. Apart from CJI, the other 4 Judges includes – Justice SA Bobde, Justice NV Ramana, Justice UU Lalit and Justice DY Chandrachud.
- Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha – one of the Stakeholders in the Politically motivated case of Ram Janmabhoomi – Babri Masjid Case suggested three names as mediators in Ayodhya Title dispute case. The Hindu Mahasabha proposed the names of Former Chief Justices Dipak Misra, Jagdish Singh Khehar and Former Supreme Court Judge AK Patnaik.
- While Nirmohia Akhara also proposed names of Supreme Court Retired Judge Kurian Joseph, AK Patnaik and GS Singhvi.
- Justice SA Bobde while starting the hearing the case on March 6 said, ‘It’s about sentiments, about religion and about faith. We are conscious of the gravity of the dispute’. Justice added that there is need of panel of mediators and not just mediator to solve the issue.
- Muslim Stakeholders in the Case submitted before the court that they agree to go for Mediation. “Muslim petitioners are agreeable to mediation and any compromise or settlement will bind parties,” said Advocate Rajeev Dhavan who is appeared in the Court on behalf of a group of Muslim petitioners.
- The Apex Court had on February 26 pressed for court-monitored mediation to save time or not. Justice Bobde had said that ‘even if there is only a 1% chance of Mediation, it should be explored”
- Earlier, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had on Jan 25 reconstituted the 5 Judge Bench and inducted a Muslim Judge S Abdul Nazir.
- The new Bench was necessitated after Justice U U Lalit recused from the case on January 10. This was followed by Justice N V Ramana and UU Lalit withdrawing.
The Allahabad High Court in 2010 verdict had divided the land between three petitioners — two favored building a Ram Mandir at the Ayodhya site while the third wanted the Babri Masjid rebuilt.
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