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Ayodhya title dispute to conclude by Oct 18, says SC, allows mediation along with hearing

The apex court began daily hearings on August 6 after a court-appointed panel failed to find a solution through mediation.

SNS | New Delhi |

Hearing the Ayodhya land dispute case, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Wednesday, setting a deadline, said that the submissions on the decades-old politically sensitive matter will be completed by October 18.

The judgement has to be delivered before Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi retires on November 17.

The five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court headed by CJI Gogoi further allowed mediation process along with the hearing and said that if an amicable settlement is reached through it, the same can be filed before the apex court.

The Supreme Court had on Tuesday told the counsels of the Hindu and Muslim parties involved in the Ayodhya title dispute to inform about the tentative time-frame to conclude their arguments.

The daily hearing on the matter commenced on August 6. Fourteen appeals have been filed in the top court against the Allahabad High Court order, which partitioned the 2.77-acre disputed land equally among Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The apex court began daily hearings after a court-appointed panel failed to find a solution through mediation.

In a March 8 order, the Supreme Court had referred the case for mediation by a panel headed by former apex court judge FMI Kalifulla for exploring the possibility of an amicable settlement.

On May 10, the Supreme Court then granted the three-member panel an extension of time till August 15 to find an amicable solution to the decades-old politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya.

Spiritual guru and founder of Art of Living Foundation, Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu, a renowned mediator, are the other two members of the panel of mediators.