The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the mediation committee on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute to continue the process and submit a report on the progress made till July 31.
A Constitution bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer observed that it will take a call on August 2 on whether hearing is required in the case. The order came after former Supreme Court judge FMI Kalifulla, chairperson of the three-member mediation panel, submitted a status report.
The court, after perusing the report, directed the committee to inform it about the progress made in the mediation till July 31.
On July 11, the bench had asked the panel to submit its status report by July 18.
An application for an early hearing in the Ayodhya title suit was filed by Rajendra Singh, son of one of the original plaintiffs — Gopal Singh Visharad, saying no progress has been made in the mediation ordered by the apex court to find an amicable settlement to the land dispute.
K Parasaran, senior lawyer for the applicant, had argued that the mediation process was unlikely to yield any positive result.
“Since mediation is unlikely to bring any positive result, the court should give a date for a hearing in the case,” he had submitted.
However, senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for one of the Muslim parties, had contested the stand of the petitioner.
On March 8, the court had constituted the panel which also comprises Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior Madras High Court advocate Sriram Panchu.
Fourteen appeals are pending before the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict which ordered equal division of the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992. (ANI)