Ayodhya land dispute: 3-member mediation committee submits report in SC, matter to be heard today

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The Supreme Court will take up on Friday the matter relating to Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case as the three-member mediator panel is expected to submit its report in a sealed cover.

Karunesh Shukla, the lawyer of a litigant, Mahant Dharam Das, said that the mediation panel, which was set up by the apex court, might say what they have decided and what the outcome of the mediation process was.

The Supreme Court constituted three-member mediation committee, headed by retired Supreme Court judge Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla, submitted its interim report in a sealed cover on May 6, PTI reported.

The top court had on March 8 constituted a three-member committee, chaired by retired top court judge Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla, for exploring possibilities of an amicable settlement to the land dispute. The panel also comprised of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior Madras High Court advocate Sriram Panchu as members.

The Court had expressed the view that the proceedings must be conducted with ‘utmost confidentiality’ to ensure its success.

“We have considered the nature of the dispute arising. Notwithstanding the lack of consensus between the parties in the matter, we are of the view that an attempt should be made to settle the dispute by mediation,” a five-judge Constitution bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had said.

It had said the mediators will be at liberty to co-opt other members of the panel, if needed, and can seek further legal assistance as and when required. The bench had also said that the mediation process must be completed in eight weeks.

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On March 6, the bench had reserved its order on the mediation issue, saying it was ‘looking at hearts, minds and healing if possible’, and that a ‘negotiated settlement’ was the ‘best way to restore peace’.

The bench was hearing appeals against the September 30, 2010 verdict of the Allahabad High Court which ordered a three-way division of the disputed 2.77 acres of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya between the Nirmohi Akhara sect, the Sunni Central Wakf Board, Uttar Pradesh and Ramlalla Virajman.

(With ANI inputs)

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