Supreme Court to pronounce order on mediation in Ayodhya case on Friday

On Wednesday, the five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked the parties concerned to suggest the name of a mediator or panel of mediators.

Supreme Court to pronounce order on mediation in Ayodhya case on Friday

The Supreme Court will on Friday pronounce verdict on whether to send the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case for court appointed and monitored mediation for a “permanent solution” or not.

On Wednesday, the five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked the parties concerned to suggest the name of a mediator or panel of mediators. Responding to the SC's call, Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha suggested three names — ex-Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Jagdish Singh Khehar and former Supreme Court judge AK Patnaik as the mediators in the contentious case.

Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer are the other four judges in the bench. During the hearing on Wednesday, the SC bench had told the parties, "We're seriously giving a chance for mediation".

 "It's about sentiments, about religion and about faith. We are conscious of the gravity of the dispute. There need not be one mediator but a panel of mediators. When the mediation is on, it should not be reported on. It may not be a gag, but no motive should be attributed to anyone when the mediation process is on," Justice Bobde had said.

On February 26, the bench had said, “We have suggested to the parties that during the interregnum a court-appointed and court-monitored mediation with utmost confidentiality could be initiated to bring a permanent solution to the issues raised in the cases.”

It is to be noted that Muslim side and Nirmohi Akhada from the Hindu side have agreed for mediation but the counsel appearing for deity Ram Lalla Virajman, Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha and Mahant Suresh Das had said that court-appointed mediation was not going to resolve the matter as it had failed on earlier occasions.

The bench had recorded that apart from Nirmohi Akhada, Hindu sides in the case were not in favour of resolving the issue through mediation and that it could invoke its power under Section 89 of Civil Procedure Code for alternate dispute mechanism. "We are considering a possibility of healing relationship," the bench had observed.

A total of 14 appeals have been filed in the SC challenging the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be divided equally among the three parties - the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.