Ayodhya dispute case: Supreme Court to begin hearing on 2 August; court affixes 31 July as deadline for mediation panel report

FP Staff

The hearing for the decades-old Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid conflict in Ayodhya will begin from 2 August, and the Supreme Court has ordered the mediation panel's deadline as 31 July to submit their report.

Following the submission of this report, the court will decide whether to have day-to-day hearings.

Former Supreme Court judge FM Kalifulla, chairman of mediation committee, along with Sri Sri Ravishankar and Sriram Panchu submitted a report in the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, "We now fix the date of the hearing as 2 August. We request the mediation committee to inform the outcome of the proceedings by 31 July," as reported by ANI.

"This is a good outcome. We wanted the decision of the hearing to come as soon as possible, we wanted the judgement to come as soon as possible," said Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, a Hindu Mahasabha lawyer, while talking to reporters outside the court.

The court also said that it will not put on record contents of the mediation report since it was to remain confidential.

On 8 March, the Supreme Court appointed the three-member mediation panel in a bid to resolve the long-standing dispute in Ayodhya.

The apex court referred the matter for mediation while observing that there was "no impediment" in resorting to mediation to resolve the 'politically-sensitive' case.

Earlier, a five-judge Constitution bench, headed by Gogoi, had on 11 July sought a report on the issue and said that a day-to-day hearing may commence from 25 July if the court decides to conclude the mediation proceedings.

The bench had requested Kalifulla to apprise it by Thursday of the progress of mediation till date and its present stages.

It passed the order while hearing an application filed by a legal heir of one of the original litigants, Gopal Singh Visharad, seeking a judicial decision on the dispute and conclusion of the mediation process, alleging that "nothing much was happening" in the mediation process prescribed by the court.

The bench had also said that the court would pass appropriate orders on 18 July after perusing the report filed by the mediation committee.

The apex court in one of its earlier hearings observed that the issue is not about 1,500 square feet land, but about religious sentiments. The bench said it was conscious of the gravity and impact of the issue on "public sentiment" and also on the "body politic of the country".

Also See: Supreme Court orders 8 weeks of mediation in Ayodhya case, first status report expected in 4 weeks; timeline of the process

SC dismisses Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha's plea seeking the entry of women into mosques, ban on purdah

Ex-SC judge FM Kalifulla, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, senior advocate Sriram Panchu: SC picked them to mediate on Ayodhya dispute

Read more on India by Firstpost.