The three-member mediation committee has been granted time till August 15 to find an amicable and lasting solution to the land dispute at the Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya. The Supreme Court on May 10 accepted the request by the committee to extend the time.
The apex court had constituted the mediation panel, comprising former SC judge FMI Kalifulla, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu on March 8. The panel was tasked to mediate between disputing parties and submit the first status report in four weeks’ time. And the panel reportedly submitted the interim report on May 6. And the matter was listed for hearing for the first time on May 10 after the panel was constituted.
During hearing, the five-judge Constitution bench comprising Chief justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer expressed satisfaction at the way the panel is conducting mediation, while one of the parties, Nirmohi Akhara complained that no mutual discussions among parties were taking place.
In 2010, Allahabad High Court had delivered a judgement equally dividing the disputed land measuring 2.77 acres between three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. However, none of them found the judgement satisfactory. Since then, there were several mediation attempts, but they could make little headway in resolving the issue.
The 2.77 acre land previously had “Babri Masjid”, constructed in the 16th century by Shia Muslim Mir Baqi, reportedly over an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Ram. The masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992 by workers belonging to Hindu organisations.
The 2010 Allahabad High Court judgement was based on archaeological findings that there was indeed a Hindu temple at the disputed site.