Top Court Reserves Order on Mediation in Ayodhya Title Dispute Case; May Pronounce Verdict Later Today

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Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved order on the issue of referring Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case to court-appointed and monitored mediation for “permanent solution.  However, it is expected that Top Court may pronounce its verdict later in the day. Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi while reserving the Judgment said, “Parties to suggest a name for mediator or panel for mediators. We intend to pass the order soon” as reported by ANI.

The Top Court Five-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi includes –  Justice SA Bobde, Justice NV Ramana, Justice UU Lalit and Justice DY Chandrachud is hearing the case.

The Apex Court had on February 26 said that it will pass an order on next week on whether the case may be sent for court-monitored mediation to save time or not. Justice Bobde who had further said that ‘even if there is only a 1% chance of Mediation, it should be explored”

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 group of Muslim petitioners.

However, Advocate Vishnu Jain who appeared for Hindu Mahasabha submitted before that the mediation path cannot be taken in resolving the title dispute. He added that Its lawyer even if mediation is ordered, they will maintain the stance in front of the mediator.

Justice SA Bobde while starting the hearing the case earlier in the day 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 will solve the issue. Further adding Justice Bobde said, ‘We have no control over what happened in the past, who invaded, who was the king, temple or mosque. We know about the present dispute. We are concerned only about resolving the dispute”

He added that ‘When the mediation is on, it should not be reported on. It may not be a gag, but no motive should be attributed to anyone when the mediation process is on’.

Apart from this, Subramanian Swamy who was present in the court said he supports mediation in the case.

READ: CJI Ranjan Gogoi constitutes new bench to take on Ayodhya Title Dispute Case; hearing on Jan 29

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 withdrawing citing personal reasons.

Earlier, Judge UU Lalit on January 10  left the case saying ‘He was a lawyer in the case earlier’.

The Ayodhya Dispute title case deals with who owns the Ayodhya controversial land where Babri Masjid once stood and where Lord Ram Believed to have been born as claimed.

The Allahabad High Court in 2010 verdict had divided the land between three petitioners — two favoured building a Ram Mandir at the Ayodhya site while the third wanted the Babri Masjid rebuilt.

All the petitioners appealed against the Allahabad High Court verdict. The Supreme Court has begun hearing those appeals.

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