Ayodhya Case: Top Court extends mediation proceedings till July 31; posted matter for August 2

Justice Kalifulla, chairman of court-monitored mediation committee in Ayodhya Dispute, on Thursday, submitted its report in the Top Court. The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi fixed the date of hearing on August 2 for further hearing in the case.

The Top Court also requested the mediation committee to inform the outcome of the mediation proceedings as of July 31st. The three-member mediation panel on Thursday submitted the interim report of the mediation proceedings.

Earlier on July 11, 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. 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.

Earlier, 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. Justice (r) Khalifulah was appointed to head the three-member panel.

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.

Background

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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