The Supreme Court on Thursday said that the mediation process in the Babri Masjid-Ram Rajnmabhoomi dispute case must start within four weeks and to be completed within eight weeks.
There will be complete ban on media from reporting on the mediation process. The Supreme Court’s Constitution Bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, justices-SA Bobde, Ashok Bhushan, DY Chandrachud and Abdul Nazeer asked the panel to submit the interim report in four weeks.
The mediation panel will be headed by retired Supreme Court judge Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla with the other panels of the member including Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu.
The top court, according to news agency ANI, said that mediators can co-opt more on the panel if necessary. The Uttar Pradesh government has been asked to provide mediators all the facilities in Faizabad. Mediators can seek further legal assistance as and when required.
Reacting to the development, Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister, Keshav Prasad Maurya, said, “Won’t question the Supreme Court order. In the past, efforts made to arrive at a solution, but with no success. No Lord Ram devotee or saint wants delay in construction of the Ram Mandir.”
All India Muslim Personal Law Board member and convener of Babri Masjid Action Committee, Zafaryab Jilani, was quoted by ANI as saying, “We have already said that we will cooperate in the mediation. Now, whatever we have to say, we will say it to the mediation panel, not outside.”
The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its order on whether to refer the Ayodhya Ram Janmabhoomi land dispute case for a mediation after Hindu groups opposed the idea of mediation to resolve the issue. Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi asked the concerned parties to suggest names for mediator or panel for mediators. CJI Gogoi, according to news agency ANI, said, “We intend to pass the order soon.”