The Ayodhya mediation panel in the Babri Masjid-Ram temple land dispute case will submit its status report to the Supreme Court in a sealed cover on Thursday, in compliance with the apex court's earlier order. A bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi will hear the matter on Friday.
The Supreme Court had on 18 July asked the mediation committee on the Ayodhya land dispute to continue the mediation process and submit a report on the progress made till 31 July. The court also said that it will not put on record contents of the mediation report since it was to remain confidential.
A Constitution bench comprising Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer observed that it will take a call based on the status report on whether a hearing is required in the case. The order came after former Supreme Court judge FMI Kalifulla, chairperson of the three-member mediation panel, submitted a status report.
The court, after perusing the report, directed the committee to inform it about the progress made in the mediation till 31 July. On 8 March, the court had constituted the panel which also comprises Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior Madras High Court advocate Sriram Panchu.
The apex court referred the matter for mediation earlier in the year while observing that there was "no impediment" in resorting to mediation to resolve the 'politically-sensitive' case. Earlier, a five-judge Constitution bench, headed by Gogoi, had on 11 July sought a report on the issue and said that a day-to-day hearing may commence from 25 July if the court decides to conclude the mediation proceedings.
The bench had requested Kalifulla to apprise it by 15 July of the progress of mediation till date and its present stages.
It passed the order while hearing an application filed by a legal heir of one of the original litigants, Gopal Singh Visharad, seeking a judicial decision on the dispute and conclusion of the mediation process, alleging that "nothing much was happening" in the mediation process prescribed by the court.
The bench had also said that the court would pass appropriate orders on 18 July after perusing the report filed by the mediation committee.
The apex court in one of its earlier hearings observed that the issue is not about 1,500 square feet land, but about religious sentiments. The bench said it was conscious of the gravity and impact of the issue on "public sentiment" and also on the "body politic of the country".
Fourteen appeals are pending before the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict which ordered equal division of the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on 6 December, 1992.
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Updated Date: Aug 01, 2019 09:14:17 IST