SC asks Ayodhya mediation panel to submit report by July 18
A five judge bench led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi said on Thursday that it wanted to know the progress if any in the mediation.
A five judge bench led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi said on Thursday that it wanted to know the progress if any in the mediation. If it stands concluded, the apex court would go ahead and hear the Ayodhya title suit appeals pending since 2010.
Gopal Singh Visharad, one of the plaintiffs in the original civil suit, had moved the top court for early hearing of the case.
The development assumed significance as a five-judge bench headed by the CJI on May 10 had extended the time till August 15 for the three-member mediation panel, headed by former apex court judge F M I Kalifulla, to complete the mediation proceedings.
During the hearing today the Hindu parties said that there had been no face to face meeting so far between the two sides to drive home the point that the mediation should be called off.
But the Sunni Central Wakf Board through senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan said that the process was on and should not to be called off.
The panel, which also comprised spiritual guru and founder of Art of Living foundation Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate and renowned mediator Sriram Panchu, had told the apex court that it was "optimistic" about an amicable solution to the politically sensitive dispute.
The apex court had on March 8 referred the matter to the panel of mediators for exploring possibility of an amicable settlement. In its March 8 order, the top court had asked the panel of mediators to hold in-camera proceedings and complete them within eight weeks.
While Hindu bodies, except for Nirmohi Akhara, and the Uttar Pradesh government oppose 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.