New Delhi: Giving another chance for mediation, the Supreme Court on Friday ordered setting up a three-member panel headed by a former apex court judge F.M.I. Kalifulla to explore a possible settlement of the decades-old politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya.
Spiritual guru and founder of Art of Living foundation Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu, well known for his mediation experience, will be the other two members of the panel.
Interestingly, all the three men appointed by the apex court hail from Tamil Nadu where the Ayodhya dispute does not have much resonance.
The mediation process in Faizabad of Uttar Pradesh, around 7 km from the twin city of Ayodhya, will commence within a week and the panel will submit a progress report within four weeks, the top court said in its order that came ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
It said the mediation proceeding to be held “in-camera” and in “utmost confidentiality” will be completed within eight weeks which is the interregnum period granted earlier by the SC to the parties in the main Ayodhya case to go through translations of oral and documentary evidences.
A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it does not find any “legal impediment” to make a reference to mediation for a possible settlement of the dispute.
The bench was told earlier by Hindu bodies, except for Nirmohi Akhara, and UP government, that they oppose the court’s suggestion for mediation....