The Ayodhya Ram Mandir – Babri Masjid dispute case has seemingly come close to a solution after decades of court sessions, arguments and discussions and religious sentiments raised over it.
New Delhi, India, Friday, March 08, 2019 —
The Supreme Court Friday referred to the case for mediation. The five-judge bench headed by CJI Gogoi constituted a three-member mediation panel headed by former SC judge Justice F M Kalifullah to resolve the issue. The other members of the panel include spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Senior Advocate Sriram Panchu.
The mediation process will be held in Faizabad and will start within a week, the Supreme Court said, The process should be done “utmost confidentiality,” and should be concluded in eight weeks. The first status report is to be submitted in four weeks. The bench also said the panel of mediators may co-opt more members in case of any difficulty. The media is refrained from publishing the details of the proceedings. “We do not find any legal impediment in referring the matter to mediation,” the bench said.
During the hearing, the court observed that the issue is primarily not about the disputed 2.77 acres of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya, but about religious sentiments. The bench said it could only decide on the property and what it was looking at was “a possibility of healing relationships.” Most of the Hindu petitioners, including those representing deity Ramlalla Virajman, and the Uttar Pradesh government have opposed the offer of mediation. The Muslim bodies have extended their support to the idea but have raised objections over privacy during the negotiations.
Highlights Of The Ayodhya Ram Mandir – Babri Masjid Case
- The three-member mediation panel will be headed by former Supreme Court judge FM Kalifullah, with spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and, lawyer and mediation expert Sriram Panchu as other members.
- The panel is expected to finish the mediation process within eight weeks, from March 15 to May 15, when the country will be gearing up for the results of the Lok Sabha elections.
- The panel will have to submit the first status report on the mediation process within four weeks.
- The mediation process will be held in Uttar Pradesh’s Faizabad district where the disputed site is located. The district was recently renamed as Ayodhya.
- The media has been barred from reporting on the mediation process to maintain confidentiality.
A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had on Wednesday had reserved the order after hearing various contesting parties. Hindu bodies except Nirmohi Akhara had opposed the suggestion of the apex court to refer the issue for mediation, while Muslim bodies had supported it.
The apex court in its Wednesday hearing had observed that primarily the issue is not about 1,500 square feet land, but about religious sentiments. The bench had said it was conscious of the gravity and impact of the issue on “public sentiment” and also on “body politics of the country”. It has also said that the judges were aware of the history and was seeing that the dispute is resolved amicably as “It is not only about the property. It is about mind, heart and healing, if possible.”
Various Political parties and their respective leaders have a different ideological approach to the supreme court verdict on this case.