A Supreme Court Constitution Bench on Friday granted the Ayodhya dispute mediation panel time till 15 August to come up a solution in the Ram temple-Babri Masjid land title dispute.
The bench was led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, and comprised of Justice SA Bobde, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Abdul Nazeer.
The extension was given on the basis of a request made by the chairman of the mediation panel, retired SC judge Justice FM Khalifullah. In March, the court had referred the matter for mediation to a court-appointed panel of Khalifullah, Sri Sri Ravi Sankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu.
"If the mediators are optimistic about the result and are seeking time till August 15, what is the harm in granting time? This issue has been pending for years and years. Why should we not grant time," the bench told the counsel appearing for the parties.
The counsel appearing for both the Hindu and Muslim parties expressed confidence over the ongoing mediation proceedings and said they are fully cooperating with the process.
The proceedings were directed to be held in Uttar Pradesh's Faizabad, where the disputed site is located. The bench also clarified that the mediation process should be held in-camera, and had barred media from reporting on its developments.
The three-member team on 7 May filed its interim report in a sealed cover but, on Friday, asked for more time to settle the case when the court took the report on record. The apex court, in the presence of the CJI, therefore fixed the next date of hearing to 15 August.
The top court, however, said that it won't disclose the progress made by the committee at this stage and will let it remain confidential, Live Law reported.
The court gave the orders to constitute the mediation panel after noting " a lack of consensus between the parties in the matter" and directed the members of the panel to find a final and amicable solution to the decade-long matter.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: May 10, 2019 11:42:04 IST