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SC grants more time to Ayodhya panel, mediation to go on till July 31; hearing on Aug 2

On July 11, the apex court had said that day-to-day hearing will begin from July 25 if the mediation panel fails to submit a report by this week.

SNS | New Delhi |

The Supreme Court on Thursday gave the Ayodhya panel time to continue mediation till July end and asked it to submit its report on August 1.

The court has fixed the date of hearing on Ayodhya land dispute case for August 2.

Justice FM Kaliifullah, chairman of the mediation committee, had submitted the report in the Supreme Court on Thursday.

“We now fix the date of hearing on August 2nd. We request the mediation committee to inform the outcome of the proceedings as of July 31st,” the court said.

On July 11, the apex court had said that day-to-day hearing will begin from July 25 if the mediation panel fails to submit a report by this week.

The apex court had sought a status report from the mediation panel by this week and said that it will hear the matter from July 25 if the committee feels that has no more role in it.

The court was hearing an application filed by one of the parties representing the Hindu community.

The application was moved on Tuesday by Gopal Singh Visharad to list the dispute for adjudication saying there had been no progress in the mediation process.

The counsels representing the Hindu parties contended that the dispute had been pending for 69 years and the nature of mediation deployed to resolve the row did not appear to be heading in a positive direction.

On May 10, the Supreme Court 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.

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.

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.

The panel was then asked by the apex court to hold in-camera proceedings and complete it within eight weeks. The committee was also asked to submit the progress report within four weeks.

While some of the Muslim parties had agreed to the court’s suggestion on mediation, some Hindu bodies including the Ram Lalla Virajman opposed it, saying several such attempts have failed in the past.

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.