The Supreme Court Friday ordered a court-monitored mediation in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case to arrive at a "permanent solution" to the politically and religiously sensitive issue. The five-judge constitution bench appointed a panel of 3 mediators in the title suit with Retired Justice FM Kallifulla chairing the court-appointed and monitored mediation process.
The apex court also said that the mediation proceedings are to be kept confidential and should be held in Faizabad. The mediation hearing will start in one week and the status report of the mediation committee will have to be completed in four weeks.
The bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had earlier advocated a peaceful resolution to the otherwise politically and religiously sensitive issue.
Hindu Mahasabha, however, is opposed to mediation in the matter, terming it a futile process, which in the past also did not elicit any favorable outcome.
The apex court had on Wednesday reserved its order on the issue of referring the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case to the court-monitored mediation. One of the lawyers during Wednesday's hearing had opposed the mediation process saying that even if the parties agreed to resolve the matter amicably, the public would not agree to a compromise, to which Justice SA Bobde said that mediation didn't mean necessarily compromise by one party and a win for the other.
The judge also stated, "We cannot undo Babar invading etc. We can only look into the current situation." "We understand the gravity of the case. Past cannot be undone. We can only decide what happens in the present," he added.
The five-judge constitution bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice SA Bobde, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S Abdul Nazeer had on February 26 advocated an amicable resolution to the Ram Mandir case through mediation.
The apex court in its observation had favoured peaceful dialogue be given a chance to solve the contentious issue. Justice Bobde had proposed the suggestion while hearing the case. "We are considering the possibility of healing relations between two communities. We, as a court, can only decide the property issue." Justice SA Bobde said.
Meanwhile, the lawyers of the Hindu parties had opposed the idea of mediation saying that such attempts had failed in the. The petition challenging the 2010 judgment by Allahabad High Court has been pending for almost nine years. The court had ordered to equally divide the 2.77 acres of the disputed land in Ayodhya.