Ayodhya dispute hearing: The Supreme Court on Thursday deferred the early hearing plea in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute for July 25 The bench hearing the plea was headed Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi. It also asked for an interim report from the mediation panel to examine progress in the case.
The top court said that day to day hearing will be resorted to in the case if mediation doesn’t work. The plea has been filed by Rajendra Singh, son of Gopal Singh who was one of the plaintiffs in the original civil suit regarding the Ayodhya land. Singh has claimed that no progress has been made by the court-appointed mediation panel to settle the issue.
In March this year, the Supreme Court had constituted a three-member committee or mediation panel comprising SC judge Fakkir Mohammad Ibrahim Kalifulla, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior Madras High Court advocate Sriram Panchu to settle the land dispute case.
The top court while agreeing to look into the matter had asked Singh to file a necessary application to this effect. The court had also expressed the view that the proceeding must be concluded with utmost confidentiality to ensure its success. On May 10, the court had given the mediation panel the time till August 15 to find an amicable solution to the dispute.
Singh has now requested the court that the mediation proceedings be declared to have been concluded. Singh’s father, Gopal Visharad is a resident of Ayodhya who had moved the court of civil judge, Faizabad in 1950 claiming that his right to worship was obstructed by the state government which disallowed him from going near the idol.
While Singh’s application plea read that despite initial reluctance in the process of mediation, the applicant herein wholeheartedly participated in the mediation proceedings conducted by three eminent persons appointed by the court. However, in three meetings participated during five months, neither any concrete proposal has come from anyone nor any headway is likely to be made in the process of mediation.
The applicant does not believe any substantial development has occurred/can occur and it appears there is no probability of any possible settlement between the parties. He also said that he was not called for the mediation proceedings that took place in June 2019.
While gathering from few meetings he was part of, Singh stated that suggestions have been made which are not even within the scope of the present mediation in any way and are political in nature. Therefore, he was convinced that mediation would not yield any fruitful result and the only solution is judicial adjudication.
Besides CJI Gogoi, the bench will also comprise Justices SA Bobade, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer. Singh has emphasized in his petition that there hasn’t been much progress in the mediation ordered by the court and urged it to declare that it has been concluded.
The Allahabad High Court in its 2010 hearing had ruled that the disputed land in Ayodhya where the Babri Masjid stood for 500 years until it was demolished in 1992 shall be divided into three parts. A two-thirds portion to be shared by two Hindu petitioners and one-third will be given to the Sunni Muslim Waqf Board.