NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has ordered mediation into Ayodhya’s Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case, appoints a three-member panel. Orders mediation process to start within four weeks and to be completed within eight weeks.
The apex court said mediation proceedings should be held on-camera. The mediation process will be held in Faizabad. It will be headed by Justice FM Kaliifullah, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu.
The top court in its order also said that the reporting of the mediation proceedings in media will be banned. "Court monitored mediation proceedings will be confidential," said CJI Ranjan Gogoi.
The five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had on Wednesday reserved the order after hearing various parties in the case. Hindu bodies except Nirmohi Akhara have opposed the suggestion to refer the issue for mediation, while Muslim bodies have supported it.
Following the apex court’s directive to give list of mediators of their choice to them, Hindu bodies like Nirmohi Akhara suggested the names of Justices (retd) Kurian Joseph, AK Patnaik and GS Singhvi as mediators, while the Hindu Mahasabha faction of Swami Chakrapani proposed the names of former CJIs Justices J S Khehar and Dipak Misra and Justice (retd) A K Patnaik to the bench.
During the hearing, the SC had observed that they know that the dispute is not an issue of land but one of faith. “It is not only about property. It is about mind, heart and healing, if possible,” said the bench.
‘Can’t undo what Babur did’
The bench said it cannot undo what Mughal emperor Babur did centuries ago, but that it is more concerned about the current situation and healing of relations.