Members vow to resolve issue

Ravi Shankar also said the decision is in the best interest of the country.

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 and politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya.

“We therefore order accordingly, and having taken note of the names suggested by the parties, we are of the view that the following panel of mediators should be appointed to go into the dispute with liberty to the mediators to co-opt other members of the panel, if so required,” a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said.

Declaring the names, the bench said: “Justice (retd) Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla — Chairman, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar — Member, senior advocate Sriram Panchu — Member.”

The bench, also comprising Justices S.A. Bobde, D.Y. Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer, was told earlier by Hindu bodies, except for Nirmohi Akhara, and Uttar Pradesh government, that they oppose the court's suggestion for mediation. The Muslim bodies supported the proposal.
However, both sides suggested the panel of names for possible mediators.

The three panel members separately said they will strive to achieve a resolution of the vexed dispute.

“For the present, I can only say that if the committee has been constituted, we will take every step to resolve the dispute amicably,” Kalifulla said in Chennai. He had earlier served as a judge of the Madras High Court. While Ravi Shankar said everybody must move together to end long-standing conflicts, Panchu said the court has given a “serious” responsibility and he will do his best.

Ravi Shankar also said the decision is in the best interest of the country.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle with agency inputs )
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