The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to call off the mediation it ordered on March 8 to find an amicable solution to the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute and said it will examine the progress again at the end of this month.
A Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi fixed August 2 as the next date of hearing in the Ayodhya matter, but the order did not specify whether it will be taking up appeals against the September 30, 2010 verdict of Allahabad High Court for day-to-day hearing from that day.
On July 11, the apex court had asked the mediation panel headed by its former judge Justice F M Ibrahim Kalifulla to apprise it about the progress. Accordingly, Justice Kalifulla submitted a report which the SC perused on Thursday before passing the order.
“As by our previous order dated 8.3.2019, we had ordered that the proceedings of mediation will remain confidential, we do not deem it appropriate to put onrecord the contents of the said report dated 13.7.2019 of Justice Kalifulla. However, taking into account what has been brought to our notice by the said report,we now fix the hearing of the cases on and from 2.8.2019. The Bench will assemble again on the saiddate i.e. 2.8.2019 at 2.00 p.m”, the SC order said.
The bench, also comprising Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer, asked the mediation panel “to inform the Court the outcome of the mediation proceedings as on 31.7.2019 by 1.8.2019 to enable us to proceed further in the matter in terms of the present directions”.
The court was hearing a plea by Rajendra Singh, son of Gopal Singh Visharad, one of the plaintiffs in the original civil suit in the Ayodhya land matter.
Singh claimed there was not much progress in the mediation and urged the court to declare the mediation proceedings concluded so that hearing on the appeals can start.
On September 30, 2010, Allahabad High Court ordered that the disputed 2.77 acres of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site be split three ways among Nirmohi Akhara sect, Sunni Central Wakf Board, Uttar Pradesh and the idol Ramlalla Virajman. Appeals have been filed in the SC against this verdict.