New Delhi, Mar 8 : The Supreme Court order on Friday appointing a three-member mediation panel to resolve the Ayodhya dispute is essentially seen as an attempt at preventing anyone against the political capitalization of the highly emotive issue and the top court seemed to have done a pretty long study in selecting the three individuals.
Among them, Sriram Panchu's credentials are unique as a 'mediator' as he is considered an able hand in the game having mediated several disputes and also is a certified mediator on the panel of the Singapore International Mediation Centre.
Mr Panchu has mediated a large number of complex and high-value disputes including a 500 square kilometre dispute between the states of Assam and Nagaland. He has also handled international disputes and one involving the Parsi community in Mumbai.
It is not for the first time that Mr Panchu has seemed to have enlisted the confidence of the Supreme Court. In reference to several past cases, Mr Panchu has been referred by the apex court as a “distinguished mediator” and “eminent trainer”.
His book, 'Mediation: Practice & Law' is the standard manual in India. His another book - 'Settle for More' is actually set to have introduced 'mediation' as a trait and practice to the Indian audience.
Sri Sri Ravishankar has been in the eye of the storm no sooner his name came out as one of the mediators. Though the founder of 'Art of Living' has tweeted saying "we must all move together", his statement in the past referring to Syria vis-a-vis Ram Temple has drawn opposition from CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat and also vocal AIMIM MP from Hyderabad Asaduddin Owaisi. Last year, Sri Sri-led the Art of Living claimed that many Muslims have "supported the proposal" of shifting the Masjid outside (the disputed area) to another place. "Many Muslim stakeholders are cooperating in this matter," it had said in reference to his private 'mediation efforts' and reaching out to All India Muslim Personal Law Board and Sunni Waqf Board. Many Muslim leaders apparently had backed the idea of an out-of-court settlement too.
Retired Judge FMI Kalifulla, who has been named as the head of the panel, is a man known for clinical precision with commitment to help justice reach common masses. In fact, during his stint in Jammu and Kashmir High Court, he travelled across the state and helped setting up legal aid clinics.
That gesture, observers say, helped 'angry Kashmiris' to repose faith in Indian judicial system. One of his much talked about landmark judgement has been on the introduction of Vedic astrology as a course of scientific study in Indian universities. He also guided Supreme Court's approach with regard the case pertaining to the cricket board. (UNI)