The Supreme Court on Friday said that there was no legal impediment to referring the contentious ayodhya dispute to mediation and named a three member panel to try and work out a peaceful settlement in faizabad. The mediators included justice F.M.I Kalifullah, Sri Sri ravi shankar and lawyer Sriram Panchu. The mediators will sit at Faizabad and conduct the hearings in confidence. "There is no legal impediment to mediation," a five judge bench led by chief justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said. The panel will report back to the court on any progress in 4 weeks. Should the talks fail within the scheduled eight weeks within which the court completes paper work for the case, the dispute will be decided by the top court.
The mediation is a last ditch effort by the court to soothe frayed relations between the two major communities hindus and Muslims post the demolition of the babri masjid-ram janmabhoomi structure. A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Wednesday had reserved the order after hearing various contesting parties. Hindu bodies except Nirmohi Akhara have opposed the suggestion of the apex court to refer the issue for mediation, while Muslim bodies have supported it. The bench, also comprising Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer, had concluded the hearing by asking stakeholders to give the names of possible mediators.
Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. The Allahabad high court has in 2010 carved out the land on which the dome once stood between the warring Hindus and Muslims in the ratio of 2:1. Both sides have contested this in the top court. It has been pending since. The Hindus want all the land under the dome and want the Muslims to settle for land elsewhere for a mosque. They argue that it is a matter of faith and cannot be compromised. The Muslims say the land involves the community's claim over the dome. They have however agreed to the mediation unlike the hindus who have gone into it reluctantly.