New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the mediation panel looking into the Ayodhya land dispute case to present its progress report by July 18. The mediation panel had earlier solicited time till August 15 to finish its considerations – a request the court had accepted.
Gopal Singh Visharad had filed an application for the early hearing of the case. Visharad, who is one of the original plaintiffs in the case, said no progress had been made in the mediation ordered by the Supreme Court to resolve the issue.
The Supreme Court in March had formed a three-member committee chaired by former Supreme Court judge Fakkir Mohammed Ibrahim Kalifulla, and also comprising spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior Madras High Court advocate Sriram Panchu.
Day-to-day hearing if the dispute does not get settled by mediation
A bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it would hear the matter on a day-to-day basis from July 25 in case the dispute does not get settled by arbitration.
The mediation panel had submitted an interim report in a sealed cover to the top court registry in May but requested time until August 15. The court accepted the request, saying that if the mediators were positive about the results then there was no harm in giving additional time. The five-judge division bench that granted the extension was also led by Gogoi.
K Parasaran, senior lawyer for the applicant, seeking a date for early hearing in the case, says, “Since mediation is unlikely to bring any positive results, so the court should give a date for a hearing in the case.”
The court said today it had given time to the three-member mediation panel till August 15 and would go by the report of the panel.
The SC will now hear the matter from July 25 if the mediation report does not suggest an amicable solution. “We deem it proper to request the head of the mediation panel Justice FM Kallifullah to submit a report by next Thursday,” says SC.
Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute
The dispute over the land in Ayodhya has been going on for several decades, with both Hindu and Muslim groups claiming their right to it. The Babri Masjid stood there before it was demolished in 1992 by Hindutva activists. In 2010, the Allahabad High Court ordered the land to be divided into three equal parts between the Nirmohi Akhara, the Sunni Wakf Board and the representative for the deity Ram.