New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday said that it would hold day-to-day hearing from August 6 to decide the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya as the efforts to arrive at an amicable settlement through mediation have failed.
The long-awaited hearing on the possession of the disputed site at Ayodhya will begin from August 6 as Justice Fakir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla, a former Supreme Court judge, told the court in his “outcome” report that the 146-day-long mediation process with the parties to the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute did not result in any settlement.
Noting that the “mediation proceedings have not led to any final settlement”, a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi ordered day-to-day hearings from August 6 on a batch of 13 cross-petitions challenging the September 30, 2010 order of the Allahabad High Court. The bench also included Justices S.A. Bobde, D.Y. Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S.A. Nazeer.
The High Court by its September 30, 2010, order had given two parts of the disputed site of 2.77 acres to the temple’s proponents — the deity of Ram Lalla and the Nirmohi Akhara, a Hindu sect — and one to the Sunni Waqf Board.
The court said the hearing on the appeals against the high court order will start with the appeals on the suit filed by the deity of Ram Lalla and Nirmohi Akhara.
Senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for the lead petitioner M. Siddiq represented by his legal heirs, noted that Suit No. 4 by the Sunni Waqf Board was not being taken up for hearing and this would deprive them from making rejoinder arguments.
Mr Dhavan told the court that when the matter was being taken up for hearing he had sought 20 days to advance his arguments and urged the court there should be no “curtailment” of arguments.
The Chief Justice said all the points being flagged by Mr Dhavan would be seen in the course of the hearing. “We will see about it” in the course of the hearing, said Gogoi.
Justice Fakir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla headed the three-member mediation committee, also comprising religious preacher Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior lawyer and well-known mediator Shriram Panchu, had submitted the report on mediation “outcome” on Thursday....