Mediation efforts on Ayodhya-Babri Masjid title dispute failed, says Supreme Court


The Supreme Court on Friday admitted that the mediation panel appointed by it had failed to resolve the Ayodhya-Babri Masjid title dispute adding that the top court will now hear the matter on a day-to-day basis from 6 August.

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The Court had formed a mediation panel headed by former Supreme Court judge KMI Kalifulla, Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu. The panel was originally given eight weeks to complete the mediation process with media not allowed to report on the topic.

However, the top court had extended its tenure till 31 July last month as it asked the panel to submit its findings before 2 August.

“We request the mediation panel to inform the court the outcome of the mediation proceedings as on July 31 …,” the bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and also comprising justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer.

The current dispute is over the 2.77 acres of land in Ayodhya where the Babri Masjid existed until 6 December 1992, when Hindu fanatics led by BJP leaders brought down the 16th-century heritage site. This had led to countrywide violence and the killing of hundreds of people, mostly Muslims.

The BJP has always made this an electoral issue and the party desperately wanted to exploit Hindu sentiments in this year’s Lok Sabha polls. However, the Supreme Court’s decision to go down the mediation route appears to have put paid to the saffron party’s electoral plans.

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