The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the mediation panel Ayodhya land dispute to submit its final report by July 31. The next date for hearing in the case has been scheduled for August 2. The case is being heard in the top court by a five-judge bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer.
After going through the report of the mediation panel, the apex court will decide if daily hearing should be conducted in the case. The court also said that the findings of the panel would not be taken on record, citing its confidentiality clause.
The Supreme Court had earlier granted the three-member mediation panel time till August 15 to find a solution in the Ayodhya land dispute case. The committee, which submitted its interim report in a sealed cover to the top court in May, had sought additional time.
Notably, senior advocate PS Narsimha, who is arguing in the case for litigant Gopal Singh Visharad, had told the Supreme Court during last hearing that not much progress was happening with regard to the functioning of the three-member mediation panel.
His claims were countered by advocate Rajiv Dhawan, who is representing the Muslim litigants, saying that it was not the time to raise questions on the functioning of the mediation panel. He had backed the argument of Nirmohi Akhada’s counsel Gopal Singh, who had told the court the panel was moving in the right direction.
The panel was constituted on March 8 and former judge FM Kalifulla, Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravishankar and eminent lawyer Sriram Panchu were named as its members. They were told to keep their findings confidential and were allowed to include more members if needed.
On September 30, 2010, the Allahabad High Court had ruled that the disputed land would be divided into three parts. According to the ruling of the High Court, the site with idol of Ramlalla was allotted to Ramlalla Virajman, Sita Rasoi and Ram Chabutara was given to Nirmohi Akhada and the remaining land was allotted to Sunni Waqf Board.
The decision was appealed against in the Supreme Court. On May 9, 2011, the Supreme Court had stayed the Allahabad High Court order, agreeing to hear the pleas.