Ayodhya mediation fails, SC to begin day-to-day hearing

Aug 2, 2019
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday announced that the mediation proceedings on resolving the Ayodhya dispute have failed and no amicable solution was found and as a result, the apex court will begin day-to-day hearings from August 6.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi noted that the report of the three-member mediation panel, headed by former apex court judge Justice F.M.I. Kalifulla, failed resolve the dispute amicably.

“We have received the report submitted by Justice Kalifulla. We have perused it. Mediation proceedings have not resulted in any kind of final settlement, as a result we have to proceed with the hearing of the appeal which will commence from August 6,” said the bench.

The apex court asked the registry to prepare the required documentation in connection with the hearings.

The mediation panel in its report submitted on Thursday said the Hindu and Muslim parties have not been able to reach a consensus on resolving the dispute.

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, representing a Muslim party, raised several legal technicalities involved in the issue and sought 20 days to finish his arguments to which the bench retorted “don’t remind us what we have to do”.

The court has continued to maintain confidentiality of the mediation report as per its earlier order.

The mediation panel also comprised spiritual guru and founder of the Art of Living Foundation Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate and mediator Sriram Panchu.

The court had earlier granted time till August 15 for completion of mediation after its earlier report claimed that the mediators were optimistic on reaching an amicable solution.

“The parties were never ready for mediation. In fact, mediation was imposed on them. Many proposals were floated but none was accepted by the parties to develop a consensus converging on a common point of interest,” said an informed source.

“Efforts to streamline mediation also failed. In fact, everything was tried but with no success,” said the source familiar with the developments on the mediation.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Panchu have a reputation on developing consensus on contentious issues.

“Since the mediation has failed, the court should decide the matter. Many joint sittings were also organised but to no avail,” added the source.

A total of 14 appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment which was delivered on four civil suits.

It suggested that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties. IANS