Ayodhya dispute: SC told no progress made in mediation

SC urged to list case for adjudication

One of the original litigants in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya moved the Supreme Court seeking early hearing of the matter. (Reuters File Photo)

The Supreme Court was on Tuesday told by one of the parties from Hindu side to adjudicate Ayodhya dispute matter “on merit and decide it expeditiously”, on the ground that no progress has been made in the mediation being conducted under the chairmanship of a retired apex court judge.

Senior advocate P S Narasimha mentioned the matter before a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose.

He said an application has been filed by the plaintiff in suit number one, Gopal Singh Visharad, survived by his 80-year-old son, Rajendra Singh. The counsel said not much progress has been made in the first round of mediation process.

The court, which allowed him to file the application, said it will consider his plea for listing of the matter. The applicant also sought a direction for concluding the mediation process.

The application stated that during the eight weeks time granted by the court, the committee of mediators “could not make any effective headway”.

On March 8, the court had referred the 70-year-old dispute for mediation by a panel headed by Justice F M I Kalifulla to find out the possibility of an amicable settlement, though Hindu sides have opposed it.

Spiritual guru and founder of Art of Living foundation Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu, a renowned mediator, are two members of the panel of mediators.

“In the three meetings participated by the applicant during this period of five months, neither any concerte proposal has come from anyone nor any headway is likely to be made in the process of mediation,” it said.

It further stated that he did not feel any substantial development has occurred or can occur. “It appears that there is no possibility of any possible settlement between the parties.

“During the meetings, suggestions have been made which are not even within scope of the present mediation in any way and are political in nature. This has convinced the applicant herein that the mediation would not yield any fruitful result and the only solution is judicial adjudication,” the applicant stated.

The top court had on May 10 granted the mediation panel further time till August 15 to find out an amicable solution to the dispute.

A batch of appeals against the Allahabad High Court's 2010 judgement for the division of the disputed land among Ram Lalla, Sunni Waqf Board and Nirmohi Akhara in three equal parts, is pending before the apex court.

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