New Delhi, May 10 : A tiny ray of hope appeared when the Supreme Court on Friday gave mediation efforts three months more to arrive at an amicable settlement of the Ramjanambhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute that is believed to have arisen out of the 16th century razing of the Temple at the birthplace of Lord Ram.
Justice F M I Kalifulla--who led the mediation committee -- had sought more time to find a cordial and lasting solution to the case. Headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and also comprising Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer, the five-judge bench allowed the plea of the mediation panel and granted them time till August 15, three months more.
As it rose for the summer vacation break, the apex court also noted with satisfaction the way the committee also comprising Spiritual Guru Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu was proceeding.
The Supreme Court said it had received a request from Justice F M I Kalifulla, the chairman of the mediation panel in the Ayodhya land dispute, seeking extension of time till August 15 to find an amicable solution to the important issue. It allowed the appeal of the mediation panel for more time.
Brushing aside objections, CJI Gogoi said "if mediators (justice Kalifulla, Sriram Panchu and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar) are optimistic about the result and seek time till Aug 15, what's the harm in granting it? The matter has been pending for years."
It implied that the Supreme Court would defer hearing on appeals against Allahabad High Court's 2010 judgment dividing the 2.77 acre Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid disputed land equally among Ram Lalla, Nirmohi Akhara and Sunni Wakf Board.
On March 8, the apex court had referred the Ayodhya-Babri masjid land dispute case for mediation. A five-judge bench of the apex court, headed by CJI Gogoi, had passed the order and said that there would a panel of three mediators.
The panel was headed by Justice (retd) F M I Kalifullah, and comprised of popular spiritual guru - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu.
The Supreme Court also had said that the mediation will be held in Faizabad and mediators can start work within a week. Mediators can co-opt more persons, if required, in the resolution process. UNI