Observing that the mediation process on the decades-old Ayodhya land dispute case has failed, the Supreme Court on Thursday said it will hear the matter on a day-to-day basis from 6 August, allotting a minimum of three days per week for hearing.
The matter will be heard by a five-judge Constitution Bench in an open court, News18 reported.
The news channel also reported that the court will first hear the lawsuit involving Ram Lala and Nirmohi Akhada. It is said that despite the fastest course of hearings possible, the matter will take another four to five months before the final judgment can be expected.
A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, on 18 July, had asked the three-member mediation panel, headed by former apex court judge FMI Kalifulla, to inform the court about the outcome of the mediation proceedings as on 31 July by 1 August to enable it to proceed further in the matter.
The mediation panel in its report submitted on Thursday said the Hindu and the Muslim parties have not been able to find a solution to the vexatious dispute.
It is understood that the Kalifulla panel has submitted its report on Thursday in a sealed cover about the progress made in the in-camera mediation proceedings.
The bench, also comprising justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, which had perused a report about the progress of mediation process till 18 July, had said that its contents will remain confidential as per its earlier order.
The apex court had on 11 July sought a report on the mediation process and said that a day-to-day hearing might commence from 25 July if the court decides to conclude the mediation proceedings.
It had requested Justice Kalifulla to apprise it by 18 July about the progress of mediation till date and its present stage.
It had 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 not much was happening there.
The panel, also comprising spiritual guru and founder of the Art of Living Foundation Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate and renowned mediator Sriram Panchu, was earlier granted time till 15 August by the apex court for completion of mediation after its earlier report had said that the mediators were "optimistic" about an amicable solution.
The top court had fixed the seat for the mediation process in Faizabad of Uttar Pradesh, around 7 km from Ayodhya, and said adequate arrangements, including those related to the venue of the mediation, place of stay of the mediators, their security and travel, should be arranged forthwith by the state government so that the proceedings could commence immediately.
The bench was earlier told by Hindu bodies, except the Nirmohi Akhara, and the Uttar Pradesh government that they were not in favour of the court's suggestion for mediation. The Muslim bodies had supported the proposal.
Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
On 6 December, 1992, the Babri Masjid, constructed at the disputed site in the 16th century by Shia Muslim Mir Baqi, was demolished.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Aug 02, 2019 15:06:12 IST