The Supreme Court of India on Friday ordered mediation to settle the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute and appointed a three-member panel. The panel headed by Justice Kalifulla, includes Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu.
The panel has been asked to submit a status report at the end of four weeks and eight weeks to come to a conclusion. The apex court said mediation proceedings should be held on-camera in Faizabad. Here are some facts about the three mediators appointed to resolve the crucial Ayodhya issue.
Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla
Justice Kalifulla, the head of the three-member panel is a retired Supreme Court judge who also served as the chief justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
The 67-year-old justice, in his career spanning over a decade, he passed many landmark judgments. Kalifulla, who hails from Tamil Nadu's Sivagangai district, became a permanent member of the Madras High Court in 2000 and was later transferred to J&K in 2011.
On April 2, 2012, he was elevated to the Supreme Court and sworn in by then Chief Justice Sarosh Homi Kapadia. He retired in July 2016.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar is an Indian spiritual guru and the founder of Art of Living, an organisation that preaches meditation and yoga. Although he has been advocating dialogue between the concerned parties, he had earlier denounced the Supreme Court's intervention into the matter. The 62-year-old leader also hails from a village in Tamil Nadu.
Ravi Shankar in an interview in 2018, said, “Muslims should give up their claim on Ayodhya as a goodwill gesture. Ayodhya is not a place of faith for Muslims. We cannot make Lord Ram to be born in another place”.
Sriram Panchu is a 69-year-old senior advocate and a mediator based in Chennai. In 2005, he founded the Mediation Chambers-India's first court-annexed mediation center. He also played a key role in inducting mediation into the country's legal system and has been mediating since 1990.
Author of two books, he has been referred to as a “distinguished mediator” by the apex court.