The supreme court had asked the mediation panel to apprise it the progress of mediation till date and its present stage. (File Photo)
The Supreme Court constituted three-member mediation committee, tasked with exploring the possibility of an amicable settlement in the decades-old, politically sensitive case of Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya, is likely to submit it status report today. The top court had asked the mediation panel to apprise it the progress of mediation till date and its present stage.
The three-member mediation panel is headed by former top court judge Justice (retd) FMI Kalifulla. Spiritual guru and founder of the Art of Living foundation Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate and renowned mediator Sriram Panchu are other two members of the panel, which was granted time till August 15 by the Supreme Court for completion of mediation after its earlier report had said that the mediators were ‘optimistic’ about an amicable solution.
Earlier on June 11, the Supreme Court sought the report on the "progress of mediation" in the land dispute case Ayodhya and said a day-to-day hearing may commence from July 25 if the court decides to conclude those proceedings.
"It will be convenient to have the said report latest by July 18, on which date further orders will be passed by this court," said the bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and also comprising justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer.
"We also make it clear that if this court comes to a conclusion that, having regard to the report of Justice FMI Kalifulla, the mediation proceedings should be ordered to be concluded, the court will do so and order for commencement of the hearing of the appeals before it, tentatively, on and from July 25, which hearings, if required, will be conducted on day-to-day basis," the bench said.
The bench 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 nothing much was happening there.
"Taking into account the earlier orders passed by this court; the fact that mediation was suggested by this court during the period of time which was otherwise required to make cases/appeals ready for hearing and the contents of I.A (interim appliction)..., we deem it proper to request Justice F M I Kalifulla to inform this court the progress of mediation till date and the stage at which the said process is presently at," the court said and posted the matter for hearing on July 18 for passing appropriate orders.
During the hearing, senior advocate K Parasaran, appearing for the applicant, said it was probably very difficult to settle a dispute of this nature through mediation and sought judicial decision on the vexatious dispute.
He was supported by senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for deity 'Ram Lalla Virajman', who said that they had earlier also opposed the reference of the matter to a mediation panel.